The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment in the appeal filed against President Muhammadu Buhari’s academic qualification for the 2019 presidential election.
Justice Atinuke Akomolafe-Wilson, led three- member panel of the court reserved judgment after listening to the argument canvassed by counsel to parties in the suit.
At yesterday’s proceedings, counsel to the appellant, Ukpai Ukairo, insisted that President Buhari was not educationally qualified to have stood for the presidential poll on the grounds that the required certificates were not attached to his form CF001, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for clearance to contest the presidential poll.
The counsel denied the claim that the suit of the appellant was statute barred, adding that the case was instituted on November 5, 2018 within the 14 days allowed by law. He said the cause of action started with the announcement and publication by INEC of successful candidates for the 2019 general election on October 25, 2018.
Ukairo, therefore, urged the Court of Appeal to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the Federal High Court on grounds of miscarriage of justice.
He asked the court to nullify Buhari’s participation in the February 23 presidential election because he was not educational qualified for the poll at the time he did.
However, lawyers to the first and second respondents urged the court to dismiss the appeal for being incompetent and lacking merit.
Buhari’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar, specifically told the Appeal Court that the case of the appellant was statute barred, having not been filed within the mandatory period stipulated by the law.
He urged the court to uphold the decision of the Federal High Court to the effect that the suit was not filed in line with the position of the law.
Counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babatunde Ogala, argued on the line with Buhari and urged the court to dismiss the appeal, while counsel to INEC, Onyeri Anthony, said the commission is neutral and would abide by the decision of the Court.
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, which 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 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 lower 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 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 were 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 APC and another order restraining Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognizing Buhari as a candidate.
Insecurity: Rep Urges nass To Begin Buhari’s Impeachment
A federal lawmaker from Rivers State, Hon. Kingsley Chinda has called on the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari over the rising cases of insecurity across the country.
Chinda, who represents Obio/Akpo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives made the call during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
He said the call for impeachment proceedings against the number one citizen became imperative due to growing concerns of insecurity and the lack of basic amenities under the President Buhari led government; adding that the powers of the national legislature was not to call for the President’s resignation, but to immediately commence proceedings for his impeachment.
“I am not mincing words. I said the powers of the National Assembly is not to call for resignation, but to commence impeachment. So I support the move for commencement of impeachment of the President.
“I have said this years back. I didn’t say it today and that is why I keep quiet and watch when people are talking about resignation because I know that like Senator Sani said, what they are doing now is to use perfume, deodorant in an attempt to perhaps kill insects. It doesn’t work,” he said.
Hon. Chinda said the calls for the resignation of Mr. President and the Service Chiefs was not necessary, noting that the way to go is for the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings.
“President will not resign. Service Chiefs will not resign. National Assembly should commence impeachment,” he stated, urging the apex administration to redeem its image by stepping up its efforts in improving security and assure Nigerians of their safety.
By: Dennis Naku
Oshiomhole Should Inform Us Of His Visit To Edo – Obaseki
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, must inform him before coming to the state, as a matter of courtesy.
Obaseki said this when former president, Goodluck Jonathan, visited him at the government house.
Addressing journalists, Obaseki said it was sad that a former governor of the state and allegedly suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Oshiomhole, disregarded protocol anytime he visited the state.
Obaseki said, “It is really sad that someone who has been governor of the state is visiting the state and does not realise that courtesy demands he should inform the incumbent governor or other government apparatus of his visit. He doesn’t inform the chief executive who is in charge of his security when he is in the state.
“As someone who has served the country, courtesy demands that you inform the governor of the state that you are coming and if you have time during the visit, you can pay him a courtesy call. It is really sad and unfortunate that people who have served the state and who should know better behave the way they do, with impunity and lawlessness.”
‘APC No Longer Functional Political Party’
The Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has described his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party that is no longer functional due to its inability to hold regular meetings of its constitutional organs as provided by law.
He also blamed part of the crisis in the APC on its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, accusing him of being the accuser, prosecutor and judge in most of the disputes afflicting the party.
“The hard truth is that as it stands today, APC is not a functional political party. None of its organs at any level is meeting as provided in the party’s constitution.
‘’It is even debatable if our membership register exists. At best, it will be the same old 2015 membership register,” he said, yesterday.
Efforts to reach Oshiomhole for reaction, last night, proved abortive, as his mobile phone could not be accessed.
In a lengthy memo to the Chief Bisi Akande-led APC National Reconciliation Committee, Lukman also traced the genesis of the crisis in the party to the processes leading to the 2015 general election.
He said: “Part of the components of the contributions of the APC to Nigeria’s democracy include that the problem of imposition of candidates in elections were minimised considerably within the APC, at least in the 2015 elections. Unfortunately, that is where our problems started.
“Contestants in party primary election failed to develop the needed sportsmanship to accept results. The old habits of aspiring candidates taking over leadership structures of the party and through that therefore predetermining results of the primary elections remained the case.”
While he contended that the procedure for maintaining party discipline had been so cheapened, to the extent that the national chairman dominates the whole process, the PGF DG also blamed the chairman for surrounding himself with those he described as sycophants, who he said are mostly from Edo State.
“The crisis in the party is clearly getting worse and worse by the day. It has gotten to a stage whereby the competence of members of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC to provide needed leadership to ensure victory in every election has been eroded.
“We can win election and on account of some inabilities to competently manage legal challenges associated with nomination of candidates, we are compelled to surrender victory to our opponents. This is the narrative of the Supreme Court judgement of February 13, 2020, in respect of November 16, 2019, Bayelsa elections. It was also the case with the May 24, 2019, Supreme Court nullification of the election of all APC candidates in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.
“In other words, our NWC can be described as a very efficient Trojan horse that opens the backdoor for electoral victory to our political opponents. It is really unfortunate that we are faced with all the avoidable electoral tragedies, all because our NWC has decided to abdicate its responsibility. This is quite disheartening and certainly beyond any expectation.
“How can all these be happening under the watch of Comrade Oshiohmole as the National Chairman? Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership credentials cannot be disputed. But given what is going on now in APC under his watch, it is very clear that he is not that same Comrade Oshiomhole that was an inspiring union leader who competently handled all organisational leadership challenges to the admiration of Nigerians.
“Part of the problem now is that he is surrounded by sycophants mainly from Edo State. Any attempt to help him through objective advice is condemned as betrayal especially when such advice comes from people who were close to him. Many of those who claimed now to be his supporters and loyalists are people who only relate with him based on his position of power and capacity therefore to influence access to political positions. His success as a leader who is able to direct the party towards electoral victory is never their consideration except if they are the candidates.
“One cannot blame the sycophantic crowd around our national chairman. But I will definitely express my disbelief at the way Comrade Oshiomhole has become all of a sudden, a leader who is intolerant to criticisms. His level of intolerance is so high that any disagreement or criticism expressed against any of his decisions or actions is classified as betrayal and therefore requiring disciplinary actions.
“The procedure for disciplinary actions has become so cheapened such that all the relevant provisions in the party’s constitution are violated. As a result, Comrade Oshiomhole is today the leading accuser, prosecutor and judge in almost all cases where disciplinary actions have been administered in the party. The only probable exception may be the case in his ward in Edo State where he is also being alleged to have been disciplined”, he stated.
Lukman also berated Oshiomhole for his intolerance to criticisms, and listed ways out of the current issues threatening the party.
“With this kind of background, it is almost impossible to start any process of engagement to resolve our problems in the party without addressing the issue of intolerance that is today the main characteristic of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC. This is not in any way questioning the capacity or competence of the Chief Bisi Akande-led APC National Reconciliation Committee.
“No doubt, Chief Bisi Akande is one leader who has all that is required to assist the party and all our leaders to resolve current challenges. In fact, Chief Akande, having led the party, immediately after the merger negotiations that produced the APC in 2013 has everything at stake if the party is allowed to continue to suffer electoral loses simply because our current leaders are intolerant to one another and consequently not able to manage processes of candidate selection within the party.
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