An appeal court sitting in Abuja on Monday, June 24, ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to respond within five days to the case filed against his qualification for the 2019 presidential election.
The appeal court also gave the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) five days to respond to all issues raised on the educational qualification of the president in the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Datti Yayaya, who issued the order, also directed that Buhari’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar, to file necessary processes in relation to the appeal filed by Agu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris within five days.
The decision of the appeal court followed a motion on notice filed by counsel to the appellants, Uchenna Ndubuisi. Temitayo Lasaki and his colleague, who are counsels for the APC had urged the court in their response to motion by Ndubuisi to give them five days to enable them file their respondents’ brief of argument along with other processes.
They argued that this is to set the stage for hearing of the substantive appeal. The appellants had approached the appeal court to nullify and set aside the judgment of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which had declined to hear their suit instituted to challenge the educational qualification of President Buhari before the conduct of the 2019 general election.
The appellants are asking the appeal 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. They want the appeal court to, among other reliefs, declare 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.
The appellants also prayed for an order of the court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of APC. They further want the court to restrain Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognizing Buhari as a candidate.
Hearing of the appeal has been fixed for July 8.