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Buhari certificate saga: Plaintif withdraws suit

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday struck out the suit that sought for an order to sack President Muhammadu Buhari from office haven allegedly contested the 2015 presidential election without basic academic qualification. Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out the suit following a notice of discontinuance filed by the plaintiff, Nnamdi Nwokocha – Ahaiwe.

Justice Ademola however gave no order as to cost. Justice Ademola had earlier reserved Thursday for ruling on an application asking the court to stay execution of a judgment it granted against the defendants. When the matter was mentioned on Thursday, counsel to the plaintiff, Chikordi Okeorji, however informed the court that the plaintiff had filed a notice of discontinuance pursuant to order 50 rule 2 (1) of the Federal High Court Rules. The notice of discontinuance, he said, was filed on June 27, 2016. Defendants counsel, Paul Ajiboye, did not oppose the application, though he complained that he was not served. Justice Ademola then went ahead to strike out the suit.

The plaintiff Nwokocha-Ahaiwe, an Abuja based legal practitioner, had filed the suit asking the Federal High Court to nullify the election of Buhari as President of Nigeria on the grounds that he did not possess the minimum academic requirement for the position. Nwokocha-Ahaiwe, in the suit also alleged that Buhari did not sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961 as he had earlier claimed raising the issue perjury. President Buhari had in reaction to the suit raised a preliminary objection on the grounds that he was not properly served. He had challenged the mode of service of the originating summons on him, insisting that he ought to have been served at an address in Kaduna instead of by substituted means at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

But Buhari’s objection was dismissed by Justice Adeniyi Ademola on the grounds that it was incompetent. He upheld the substituted service of the originating court processes was proper. Ademola stated that the service of the court’s processes on the president through the secretariat of the APC was proper. The defendants not satisfied with the court’s ruling had appealed the ruling, praying the appellate court to set aside or discharge the ex parte order granted in favour of Nnamdi Nwokocha Ahaiwe on February 16, 2015 to serve him with the originating summons by substituted means.

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