A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will on March 19 hear all applications challenging the eligibility of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, to contest the forthcoming presidential election.
At the resumed hearing on Monday of two earlier suits filed by Chukwunweike Okafor and Donald Daunamigba, counsel to the plaintiff, Mike Ozekhome, told the court that he was willing to continue with the argument, noting that he had not been served with all processes.
After his observation, he was served with the process, but he asked the court for a short date to enable him study the process.
He further requested for accelerated hearing, pointing out that the outcome of the case would have effect on the forthcoming elections.
But the Defence Counsel, Akin Olujimi and Lateef Fagbemi, were quick to respond that the outcome of the case could not be a condition precedent on the conduct of the election, reminding the court that there was an application requesting that the court should set aside the totality of the summon on Buhari, which had not been responded to.
The Federal High Court Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, adjourned the case till March 19 to enable the court hear all the applications, including those seeking for joinder.
There are 13 suits instituted against the APC’s presidential candidate, General Buhari, challenging his eligibility to contest in the March 28 presidential election.
The plaintiffs in the suits also argued that failure of Buhari to accompany his form CF001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with his certificates of academic qualifications, rendered him ineligible to participate in the poll.
They stressed that failure to submit the said certificate, would mean that he had failed to comply with the provisions of sections 131 and 318 of the Nigerian Constitution and section 31 (3) of the Electoral Act.
Responding to the certificate controversy, the APC had dismissed claims that General Buhari was not qualified to contest in the elections.
Government College, formerly Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, which General Buhari graduated from in 1961, had released his Secondary School Certificate Examination results.
Before the certificate was released, General Buhari had described the claims as ‘desperation of disinformation’.
“I have contested elections three times and that’s the same rule by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) where there is basic education qualification that you have and I was allowed to contest all these election because my certificate was in order.
“There are even individuals that wrote to the United States War College and the College answered them and its published in some of your papers.