An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday granted an ex-parte application in an eligibility suit seeking to serve court processes on APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), through three newspapers. The presiding judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, also fixed Feb. 9 for mention and possible hearing in the suit challenging Buhari’s eligibility to contest the elections over his Secondary School Certificate.
The plaintiff, Mr Max Ozoaka, a lawyer, who filed the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/14/2015 through an originating summons filed by his counsel, Mr Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), joined Buhari and INEC as co-defendants. The court also granted the plaintiff’s prayers for Buhari and INEC to abridge time within which to enter appearance in the suit and ordered that service be made on them before Feb. 9.
Ozoaka’s counsel, Okeaya-Inneh, in the originating summons, is seeking an order to disqualify Buhari from contesting and/or participating in the Feb. 14 presidential elections or any other date INEC may fix. He is also seeking an order restraining INEC from permitting Buhari to participate in the Feb. 14 presidential elections or any other date that it may fix for the said elections.
The plaintiff is also seeking a declaration that by the combined provisions of Sections 31(1)(2) and (3) of the 2010 Electoral Act and INEC Form CF 001, Buhari is mandatorily obliged to strictly comply with their provisions.
This, he argued, had to do with Buhari’s filing and submission of INEC Form CF 001, without attaching evidence of educational qualifications as required, which was an offence under Section 31 of the Act. The plaintiff, therefore, prayed the court to declare that Buhari is not eligible to participate in the 2015 presidential election for failure to comply with the terms for submission of list of candidates.