The Court of Appeal, Abuja division has reserved judgment in the appeal filed against President Muhammadu Buhari’s academic qualification for the 2019 presidential election.
The three member panel of the appellate court presided over by Justice Atinuke Akomolafe-Wilson, reserved judgment after hearing the parties in the suit.
Lawyer to the appellant, Ukpai Ukairo, insisted that President Buhari was not educationally qualified to contest the presidential poll on the grounds that the required certificates were not attached to his form CF001, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for clearance to contest the poll.
The lawyer denied the claim that the suit of the appellant was statute barred, adding that the case was instituted on November 5, 2018 within the 14 days allowed by law. He argued that the cause of action started with the announcement and publication by INEC of successful candidates for the 2019 general election on October 25, 2018.
Ukairo therefore urged the Court of Appeal to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the Federal High Court on grounds of miscarriage of justice.
He asked the court to nullify President Buhari’s participation in the February 23 presidential election because he was not educational qualified for the poll at the time he did.
However, lawyers to the president and the Independent National Electoral Commission in their response urged the court to dismiss the appeal for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
President Buhari’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar told the Court that the case of the appellant was statute barred because it was not filed within the mandatory period stipulated by the law.
He urged the court to uphold the decision of the Federal High Court to the effect that the suit was not filed in line with the position of the law.
Counsel to INEC, Mister Onyeri Anthony on his part said the commission is neutral and would abide by the decision of the Court.
Messers Kalu, Ismail and El-Kuris had approached the appellate court to nullify and set aside the Judgment of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which declined to hear their suit filed to challenge the educational qualification of President Muhammadu Buhari before the 2019 general elections.
The appellants in their appeal asked the appellate court to upturn the judgment of Justice Ahmed Mohammed on the grounds that the processes filed by president Buhari considered to strike out their suit were not competent.
They therefore urged the Court of Appeal to assume jurisdiction in the suit and grant all the reliefs sought at the Federal High Court but which were refused.
Among the reliefs is a declaration that Buhari submitted false information regarding his qualification and certifcate to INEC for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the President of Nigeria and that he should be disqualified.
They also asked for an order of court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of APC and another order restraining Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognizing Buhari as a candidate.