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Court strikes out suits on Buhari’s certificate


Image source Dalje

Image source Dalje

THE Federal High Court, Abuja Division, yesterday threw out two of the suits filed against the President-elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, over allegations of certificate forgery and perjury.

Besides the two suits filed by Chike Okafor and Max Ozoaka respectively, there are pending nine others on the same subject matter.

The court struck out the suits following an application by counsel to the plaintiffs, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), to withdraw them.

Although by rules of court, Ozekhome was not obligated to offer a reason for the said withdrawal, he still informed the court that he had advised his clients to withdraw the suit, so as “not to distract the President-elect in his new assignment.”

Counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), did not object to the application, thus leaving the judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, with no option than to accede to the plaintiffs’ request.

The court has fixed May 22, 2015 for hearing of the other suits.

At the last adjourned date, Buhari’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) had told the court that he would challenge the suits filed by

Okafor and Ozoaka, seeking to stop him from contesting.
Buhari also opposed the order for substituted service, which the court earlier granted in favour of the plaintiffs.

Though Olanipekun did not file any process as at the last adjourned date, he however, informed the court that he was still within time.

He then prayed for a short adjournment to enable him file his defence to the suit.

Okafor’s suit was the first to challenge Buhari over alleged certificate forgery.

Okafor premised his suit on the grounds that there was no evidence that Buhari possessed the academic qualifications he claimed.

Okafor, via an originating summons is asking for an order compelling INEC to remove or delete the name of Buhari and his party, APC, in the list of persons and political parties eligible to contest for the office of president.

He also wants the court to declare that the information contained in Buhari’s affidavit dated November 24th, 2014 stating that the Secretary, Military Board was in custody of his WASC was false and was thereby disqualified from contesting in 2015 general election.

The plaintiff wants Buhari disqualified from contesting the 2015 general election by reason of giving false information on oath in his Form C.F 001 and the affidavit dated November 24th, 2014.

In the other suit filed by Ozoaka, the plaintiff raised eight questions for the court’s determination, praying for an order disqualifying Buhari from contesting or participating in the election.

The plaintiff had submitted that INEC FORM CF 001, which Buhari submitted to INEC, was incomplete because he allegedly failed to accompany the form with all relevant academic credentials.

The plaintiff also raised objections as regards some of the information contained in other documents submitted by Buhari, including his voter card.

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