The legal battle over President Muhammadu Buhari’s academic qualification has shifted to the Supreme Court where the appellants are seeking the nullification of his candidacy in the just concluded presidential election.
The appeal is against the decision of the Court of Appeal which dismissed the appeal on the grounds that it was statute barred and as such cannot be heard.
The Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, had on July 12, 2019, held that the singular fact that the suit was filed outside the 14 days provided by the law robbed the court of jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The suit was accordingly dismissed for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
However, the appellants, Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris specifically wants Buhari’s nomination and subsequent victory at the February 23 presidential election nullified on the grounds that President Buhari lied on oath in his form 001 he submitted to INEC for the purpose of clearance for the presidential election.
In their Notice of Appeal marked: CA/A/436/2019, they are asking the apex court for an Order to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and hear the matter on merit and grant the reliefs sought in the Originating Summons.
The Notice of Appeal dated and filed July 24, 2019, and filed by their counsel, Ukpai Ukairo, is anchored on 12 grounds. The appellants had filed the suit on November 5, 2018, claiming October 25, the date INEC published the list of successful candidates in the 2019 general election as the date the cause of action arose, making the suit to be competent. The three-man panel of the justices of the Court of Appeal had also dismissed the suit based on the preliminary objection filed by the APC’s lawyer challenging the jurisdiction of the suit on the grounds that it is incompetent.
The decision prompted the appellants to approach the apex court in their further quest for justice.