By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A farmer from Abia State, Mr. Sergin Onuka Ibe has approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, begging it not to allow Major General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, to contest the March 28 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The plaintiff, through his lawyer Mr. U.O. Ukairo, prayed the court to invoke its original powers and compel Buhari to not only withdraw from the presidential race, but to equally stop parading himself as a bonafide candidate for the poll.
He contended that the 1st defendant (Buhari), is not legally fit to vie for presidency in view of the pendency of a perjury charge against him.
The plaintiff maintained that Buhari violated the provision of section 31 of the Electoral Act by lying on oath about his educational qualifications.
He told the court that a personal investigation he conducted revealed that Buhari lacks the basic educational qualifications, adding that the information the 1st defendant supplied to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in his Form CF001, were false.
Aside Buhari and the APC, INEC was also joined as a defendant in the suit marked FHC/UM/C9/13/15.
Meantime, Justice Ademola Adeniyi has ordered the service of the court processes on Buhari at his official residence at 4A and B Sultan Lane, Off Sultan Road in Kaduna.
The Judge said the defendant could as well serve the Originating Summons on the 1st defendant via substituted means, to wit; publishing same in any national daily.
The case was subsequently adjourned to March 26 for hearing.
Specifically, the plaintiff is among other things, praying the court to make a “declaration that the information contained in Form CF001 the 1st defendant supplied on oath to the 3rd defendant in accordance with section 31 of the Electoral Act, are false.
“An order that upon determining the falsity of the above depositions that the 1st defendant is thereby disqualified from contesting the Presidential election holding on March 28, 2015, on the platform of the 2nd defendant.
“An order directing the 3rd defendant (INEC) to remove the name of the 1st defendant as a candidate in the Presidential election holding on March 28, 2015.
As well as, “An order directing that any votes accredited to the 1st defendant at the election shall be null and void, he being disqualified ab-initio as a candidate in the election.
In a 14 paragraphed statement of claim, the plaintiff, told the court that he is a citizen from Amaekpu-Ohafia in Abia State and is a farmer/politician.
He said he was formerly elected as a Councilor that represented Isiama ward in Okasia Local Government Area of Abia State and a registered voter who is entitled to vote in the forthcoming general elections.
He averred that, “The first defendant in order to be eligible to contest the presidential election submitted to the 3rd defendant an affidavit which is by the nomenclature of the 3rd defendant, known as Form CF001.
“The said Form CF001 contains, on oath, the personal particulars of the 1st defendant.
“The 3rd defendant in accordance with electoral procedure published the said particulars of the 1st defendant in Umuahia, Abia State, being one of the constituencies of the 1st defendant.
“The plaintiff inspected the said Form CF001 and has reasonable grounds to believe that the following information are false:
“(1) All my academic qualification document as filled in my presidential form, ApC/001/2015, are currently with the Secretary military board as at the time of this affidavit. (2) WASC-1961.
“The particulars and or facts upon which the plaintiff founded the reasonable grounds are: 1) The Nigerian Army like other organisations do not keep certificates of serving or retired Soldiers, but copies only, a fact known to the 1st defendant as a past military Head of State of Nigeria.
“(2) Accordingly the “academic qualifications documents or some or one of them do not exist.
“(3) the defendant knowing that he does not have “WASC-61” academic qualifications resorted to lying on oath, failed to attach any certificate.
“(4) There is a presumption against unnatural events to the effect that where a person claims that his certificates are with the office that regulated his previous services, it is probable that no such certificate is in existence.
“(5) There is no office known under any law at all as “The Secretary Military Board”, a fact known or ought to be known by the 1st defendant, a retired General of the Nigerian Army.
”(6) Arising from above, the plaintiff has no place at which he could verify the deposition of the 1st defendant.
“The plaintiff is “a person” under section 31(5) of the Electoral Act and accordingly has the requisite locus standi to file this suit.
“The plaintiff upon inspecting the said Form CF001 applied to the 3rd defendant for a copy of it at its office at Umuahia but the 3rd defendant refused to give any copy to the plaintiff but directed the plaintiff to submit the application to its Abuja office.
“The plaintiff in obedience to the directive of the 3rd defendant at its Umuahia office submitted another application at the Abuja office of the 3rd defendant. (a copy of the letter is hereby pleaded and will be relied upon at the trial) .
“Regrettably, the 3rd defendant has continued to refuse to give a copy of the said Form CF001 to the plaintiff for which reason the plaintiff went to the notice board of the 3rd defendant and took photographs of the Form CF001 with a digital Samsung Tablet which the plaintiff will be relied upon at the trial.
“The plaintiff has demanded that the 1st defendant withdraws from the presidential election but he continues to parade himself as a candidate”