Alex Enumah in Abuja
Appellants in the suit challenging the qualification of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election has approached the Supreme Court to nullify his candidacy in the presidential poll.
The move to seek redress at the apex court was occasioned by the dismissal of their suit at the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja on the grounds that it was statute-barred and as such cannot be heard.
The appellants specifically want Buhari’s nomination and subsequent victory at the February 23 presidential election nullified on the grounds that he lied on oath in his form 001, which he submitted to INEC for the purpose of clearance for the presidential election.
The appellants, Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris in the Notice of Appeal marked: CA/A/436/2019, 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 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.
In the Notice of Appeal dated and filed July 24, 2019, the appellants through their counsel, Ukpai Ukairo, presented 12 grounds for the setting aside of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, amongst which are; that the “learned justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law in relying on a preliminary objection withdrawn and struck out by the Court of Appeal in striking out and dismissing the appeal.
“The learned justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law and breached the right of the appellants to fair hearing by relying on a preliminary objection, withdrawn by the 2nd respondent and struck out by the court, thus being a case not made out or relied upon or abandoned by a party in entering a decision in a judgment.
“The jearned justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law in holding that “the failure of the Registrar to sign the Originating Summons is fatal and goes to the issue of jurisdiction” and thereby struck out the Originating Summons.
“The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law in holding that delving into the other issues raised in the appeal will be regarded as an academic exercise as the case has been held to have been statute barred by virtue of Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 4th alteration and robs this court of its jurisdiction”.