Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Buhari’s Certificate Claim | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Buhari’s Certificate Claim

Posted: Jul 1, 2016 at 4:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Stephen Ubimago

Justice Adeniyi Ademola has struck out a suit filed by Abuja based legal practitioner, Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, challenging the authenticity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s West African School Certificate (WASC).

The case was struck out following a notice of withdrawal filed by the institutor, Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe.

The notice for the discontinuance of the suit dated June 27 reads in part: “Take note that the plaintiff in this originating summons, Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, hereby discontinues this action.”

In striking out the suit Thursday morning, the presiding judge, Justice Ademola held that by “section 50 (2) of the Federal High Court civil procedure rules the matter is hereby struck out”.

The Abuja based legal practitioner had alleged that Buhari was not qualified to aspire for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because he did not sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961 as he claimed.

It would be recalled that during the build-up to the March 28, 2015 presidential election, no fewer than 10 suits challenging the eligibility of then candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest in the election had been filed before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The suits were later consolidated into one given their similarity, but later adjourned till after the election for the hearing of the preliminary objection brought by counsel to the APC candidate, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), challenging the mode of service of the originating summons.

Olanipekun had argued that since the matter is a pre-election matter, it remained a living matter even after the election might have been won or lost, pursuant to the decision in Ibe vs Onuora, 1998, 7NWLR, at Part 558 and page 363.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on May 26, Buhari through his counsel continued their arguments in support of their preliminary objection to the mode of service of the summons, insisting that then candidate Buhari ought to have been served at his residential address in Kaduna instead of by substituted means at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

However, Justice Ademola in his ruling had held that the application was incompetent and upheld the legality of service of the originating court processes on Buhari.

The judge held that the service on the president through the secretariat of the APC was in order as the court summons would get to him even though it was delivered at his party secretariat.

Dissatisfied with this ruling, Buhari through his legal team on June 16 filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division on seven grounds of appeal.

The lawyers, who signed the president’s notice of appeal are Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu (SAN), Kola Awodein (SAN), Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), Charles Edosomwan (SAN), Emeka Ngige (SAN), Femi Atoyebi (SAN), Femi Falana (SAN), Funke Aboyade (SAN), H.O. Afolabi (SAN), Muiz Banire (SAN), and 10 others.

The presidency has, however, been immensely ruffled by the resurrection of the suit by Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe and were particularly miffed over the interview he granted Thisday newspaper recently, in which he’d asserted that the president was certificate-less.

In response, presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Sheu, threatened to institute an action against Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe over what it described as the lawyer’s prejudiced view of President Buhari in the said interview.