SAN FRANCISCO, July 08, (THEWILL) – The Appeal Court has reserved judgment in the suit filed against President Muhammadu Buhari’s academic qualification for the 2019 presidential election.
The plaintiffs, Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy Kyari el-Kuris, had approached the appellate court to nullify and set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which declined to hear a suit they instituted to challenge the educational qualification of Buhari before the conduct of 2019 general election.
The appellants are asking the court to reverse the judgment of Justice Ahmed Mohammed because the processes filed by Mr Buhari and used to strike out their suit were not competent.
In its ruling, a three-member panel of the court, led by Atinuke Akomolafe-Wilson, after taking arguments from parties on Monday, in respect of the appeals, said they would be informed when the judgments are ready.
The counsel representing the appellant, Ukpai Ukairo, insisted that President Buhari was not educationally qualified to have stood for the presidential poll saying the required certificates were not attached to his form CF001 which was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for clearance to contest for the election.
Ukairo opposed the claim that the suit of the appellant was ‘statute-barred’ insisting that the case was instituted on November 5, 2018, “within the 14 days allowed by law”.
He said the course of action started with the announcement and publication by INEC of successful candidates for the 2019 general election on October 25, 2018.
He therefore, urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the Federal High Court on the grounds of miscarriage of justice and to nullify Buhari’s participation in the February 23 presidential election because he was not educational qualified for the poll at the time he did.
However, Buhari’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar, told the court that the case of the appellant was statute-barred having not been 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.
Arguing in the same vein, the counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babatunde Ogala, urged the court to dismiss the appeal. The counsel to INEC, Onyeri Anthony, said the commission is neutral and would abide by the decision of the court.