The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Thursday, asked a Federal High Court in Abuja, to consolidate all applications seeking to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari, over alleged false information contained in form CF 001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 election.
When the matter came up yesterday, counsel to APC, Ghani Arobo, told the court that there were similar cases before other courts and asked for all to be consolidated.
Arobo contended that in such a situation, all the cases have to be brought together to be heard by one judge.
But the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he has no such power to ask for files from other judges.
He advised Arobo to write the Chief Judge of Federal High Court to cause the action.
However, counsel to plaintiffs, Godwin Haruna opposed the moves, arguing it was a delay tactics.
Haruna submitted that the case was adjourned till today for hearing and so be it.
He said there was no evidence before the court that there are other suits seeking the same reliefs of the instance case before other courts, neither was there evidence to show he has written the Chief Judge for the consolidation of the case, saying: “In the circumstance we ask for a short date for the second defendant to bring before this court all pending applications and other suits seeking same reliefs as this case, to guide this court.”
Justice Mohammed said it was not in the interest of anybody for case to go on, warning that if the case is handled improperly, it will be the judiciary that will be ridiculed.
He said the counsel has not placed before him, he has being assigned other files with the same subject matter.
In a short ruling, Mohammed held that the matter will be heard on the next adjourned date, except as directed otherwise by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
The court adjourned to February 14.
The plaintiffs, Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail, and Hassy Kyari el-Kuris, are alleging that Mr Buhari lied in his form, cf 001, submitted to INEC, regarding his educational qualification/certificate.
The suit, which was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Ukpai Ukiro, has as the first defendant, Buhari, the APC as the second defendant, and INEC as the third defendant.
The suit, with no: FHC/CS/ABJ/1310/2018, wants the court to determine, “whether having regard to the information in the affidavit contained in the 1st defendant’s INEC’s form, cf 001 regarding his educational qualification /certificate, the 1st defendant has submitted False information to the 3rd defendant.
“Whether from the facts and exhibit contained in the affidavit in support of this originating sermon and having regard to section 31 (5 and 6) of the electoral act as amended, the first defendant is disqualified from running for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019 general election.
“Whether the first defendant, having submitted false information to the third defendant, the second defendant can validly present the first defendant as its candidate for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the 2019 general elections.
Upon the determination of the above question, the plaintiff is, therefore, seeking a court declaration, that the first defendant submitted false information regarding his educational qualification /certificate for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The plaintiffs, in addition, want the court to declare that the first defendant, having submitted false information regarding his educational qualification/certificate, is disqualified from contesting election into the office of the president of Nigeria.
Consequent upon this, the plaintiffs are seeking an order of court disqualifying the first defendant from presenting himself and or contesting as president in the general election.
The plaintiffs also asked for an order of the court, directing the third defendant to reject/remove the first defendant’s name as the presidential candidate of the second defendant submitted to it for the 2019 general election.
“An order of this honourable court restraining the first defendant from parading himself as the presidential candidate of the second defendant for the 2019 general election.
“An order of this honourable court restraining the second defendant from parading the first defendant as the second defendant’s presidential candidate for the 2019 general election.”