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President Buhari given five days to respond to election qualification appeal

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to respond, within five days, to the appeal filed against his qualification for the 2019 presidential election.

The court also ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to, within five days, respond to all issues raised on the educational qualification of the president in the election.

Justice Datti Yayaya, who issued the order on Monday, 24 June 2019, also directed that Buhari’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar, to file necessary processes in relation to the appeal.

The appeal was filed by Agu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris.

The decision of the appellate court was sequel to a motion on notice filed by counsel to the appellants, Uchenna Ndubuisi.

Ndubuisi prayed the Court of Appeal in the motion to abridge within which Buhari, APC and INEC will join issues with the appellants on the certificate suit.

Abubakar and  Temitayo Lasaki, counsel for APC, had urged the appellate court in their response to the motion to give them five days to file their respondents’ brief of argument, along with other processes, so as to set the stage for hearing of the substantive appeal.

Kalu, Ismail and El-Kuris had approached the appellate court to nullify and set aside the judgment of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.

The lower court had declined to hear their suit instituted to challenge the educational qualification of President Buhari before the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The appellants, in their appeal, are asking the appellate court to reverse the judgment of Justice Ahmed Mohammed on the grounds that the processes filed by Buhari and used to strike out their suit were not competent.

While faulting the judgment of the High Court, which was predicated on the grounds that the suit was statute barred, the appellants claimed that the Federal High Court erred in law and in its decision.

This, they said, was because they did not challenge the primary election that produced Buhari as candidate of the APC.

They, therefore, urged the Court of Appeal to assume jurisdiction over the suit and grant all the reliefs sought at the Federal High Court, but which were refused.

Among the reliefs was a declaration that Buhari submitted false information regarding his qualification and certificate to INEC for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the President of Nigeria and that he should be disqualified.

They also prayed for an order of court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of the APC among others.

The court set Monday, 8 July 2019, for the hearing of the appeal.

– APA

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