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Presidential Poll: Buhari Lied Over Qualification In Inec Form Cf001, Appeal Court Told

Nigeria Student Forum / General Discussion / Presidential Poll: Buhari Lied Over Qualification In Inec Form Cf001, Appeal Court Told

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Osorhor Ogenevwegba Michael
Delta state polytechnic otefe oghara ( DESPO )
Graduate, Nigeria.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division has been asked to invoke its original jurisdiction to determine whether President Muhammadu Buhari supplied false information about his educational qualification and certificates, in the Form CF001 he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), before the 2019 presidential elections.

The appellate court is in an appeal marked CA/A/436/201, is further urged to determine whether the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, is competent to file processes to defend the allegation that President Buhari lied on oath about his qualifications.

Three litigants that filed the appeal, Kalu Agu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris, who identified themselves as electorate and taxpayers are challenging the dismissal of a suit they filed against President Buhari, before the February 23 presidential election.

The trial Judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja had in a judgment delivered on May 2, 2019, dismissed the suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/CS/1310/2018, for being statute barred.

Cited as defendants in the matter were President Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC.

They had, among other things, prayed the trial court to determine; “whether having regard to the information in the affidavit contained in the 1st defendant’s INEC FORM CF001 regarding his educational qualifications/certificates, the defendant has submitted false information to the 3rd defendant.

“Whether from the facts and exhibits contained in the affidavit in support of this Originating Summons, and having regard to section 31(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 ( as amended ), the 1st defendant is disqualified from running for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2019 General Elections.

“Whether the 1st defendant having submitted false information to the 3rd defendant, the 2nd defendant can validly present the 1st defendant as its candidate for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the 2019 General Elections.

“Whether the 3rd defendant can validly receive, accept or act upon the false information in the affidavit and documents submitted by the 1st as the candidate of the 2nd defendant for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the 2019 General Elections.

“Whether the 3rd defendant ought to have rejected the said false information and documents submitted by the 2nd defendant for the 1st defendant.”

Upon determination of the questions, they prayed the court to hold that President Buhari was ineligible to contest the presidential election.

Meanwhile, in their four grounds of appeal, the appellant contended that the high court judge erred by relying on a preliminary objection that was filed on behalf of the President by the AGF, to dismiss the suit.

The appellants argued that “the AGF or a lawyer in his office cannot appear or file processes for the 1st defendant.”

Besides, they urged the Court of Appeal to determine, “whether the learned trial judge was right in holding that the suit was statute-barred by computing the number of days from the 28th day of September 2018 when the 2nd respondent held its primary election wherein the 1st respondent was elected as a candidate of the 2ndrespondent?

“Arising from the foregoing it is our submission that the learned trial judge was, with respect, wrong to have held that the objection to the representation by the Attorney General and ipso facto the processes was belated in that there was no objection to the appearance of the law officers and that the Appellants reacted to the processes filed. A court must be guided by the process before it.

“Howbeit, is further submitted that it is settled law that the issue of competence of proceedings or a process cannot be waived when the challenge goes to the fundamental nature of the process and not merely on a procedural aspect of the process.

“In the circumstances of the foregoing, we urge Your Lordship to hold that the reliance of the court on the processes and the refusal to strike them out was wrong.

“Further, we urge Your Lordship to reverse the decision of the court, assume original jurisdiction on the matter and strike out all the processes filed by the 1st respondent’s counsel.

“By Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act, it is the information given by the 1st respondent, the candidate to the 3rd respondent that is the subject matter of this suit.

“It is, with respect, inconceivable that, in the light of the clear and express provisions of Section 31 of the Electoral Act and the reliefs sought, the court reasoned that the appellants could be challenging the information set out in a document submitted to a political party by an aspirant.

“It is, with respect, self-evident that Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cannot be referable to an event occurring at the primary election of a party since the document in issue is a post-primary document.

“In the instant case it is our submission that the cause of action is not yet complete until the time, any person, in this case, the appellants, has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given by a candidate in the affidavit or any document submitted by that candidate is false as provided in Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act. The document in issue in the context of the overall provision of Section 31 is only referable to a document submitted to the 3rd respondent which is the one exhibited and referred to in all the processes before the court.

“In conclusion, we submit that the decision of the court below be reversed on the grounds, “that the processes filed by the first respondent are incompetent and ought to be struck out.

“That the suit is not statute-barred as it does not question any act or event occurring at the 2nd respondent’s primary election.

“That the court assumes jurisdiction over the suit and grants the reliefs sought at the lower court since we have demonstrated in paragraph 2:7 above that there is no counter affidavit known to law in opposition to the Originating Summons and ipso facto the reliefs sought,” the appellants added.

Source tribuneonlineng.com/216768/
Presidential Poll: Buhari Lied Over Qualification In Inec Form Cf001, Appeal Court Told - General Discussion

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