Court Strikes out Eligibility Suits against Buhari

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The coast seems clearer for the President-elect, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to assume office on May 29 without pending litigation about his qualification with the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, stricking out two suits that sought his disqualification.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out the two suits challenging Buhari’s eligibility, after the plaintiff counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), informed the court he was withdrawing the suits.
Ozekhome, who represented one of the plaintiffs Mr. Chukwunweike Okafor, told the court that his client had instructed him to discontinue the suit.
He explained that his client decided to discontinue the suit in order to allow the president-elect concentrate on governance when he assumes office.
Both Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) and Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who represented Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), respectively, did not oppose the application.
Consequently, Justice Ademola struck out the matter.
When the second suit, filed by Max Ozoaka, was called, his lawyer, Dr. Chike Amobi, adduced similar grounds for withdrawing the suit. It was equally struck out by the judge.
With the development, the remaining pending eligibility suit against Buhari is the one filed by Ayakeme Whiskey (FHC/ABJ/CS/68/15). No date has been fixed for hearing in the suit.
The plaintiffs had filed the suits challenging Buhari’s eligibility and asking the court to declare him ineligible to contest in the March 28 election, on the basis of his alleged failure to submit his certificates of academic qualifications, along with his Form CF001 to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The plaintiffs also had claimed that Buhari’s failure to submit his certificate of academic qualifications contravened provisions of sections 131 and 318 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010.
They had also sought Buhari’s disqualification on the grounds of alleged non-compliance with the Constitutional requirements guiding candidates’ eligibility to contest for the Presidential election.
Ozoaka specifically sought Buhari’s disqualification as the APC Presidential candidate on the ground that the party was not a registered political party in Nigeria.
A copy of the Buhari’s INEC Form FC001 shows that Buhari entered the name of his party as All Progressives Congress Party (APCP) instead of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Buhari won the presidential election on the platform of the APC.

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