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 Plaintiff, lawyer’s absence stalls anti-Buhari inauguration suit

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PostSubject: Plaintiff, lawyer’s absence stalls anti-Buhari inauguration suit   2015-05-28, 04:14

The suit filed before a Federal High
Court in Abuja to stop the
inauguration of the President-
elect, Muhammadu Buhari, as the
President, came up on Wednesday
but neither the representative of
the plaintiff nor its counsel showed
The suit was filed on Tuesday by a
non-governmental organisation,
Advocacy for Societal Rights
Advancement and Development
With an affidavit of urgency filed
along with the plaintiff’s
application for interim injunction,
the matter was assigned to Justice
Ahmed Mohammed, and was listed
for hearing on Wednesday.
The matter was mentioned three
times on Wednesday within
intervals of two hours in between
successive stand-downs, but
neither a representative of the
plaintiff or its lawyer who filed the
suit on its behalf, Mr. Philip Ekpo,
was present in court.
Though the application filed by the
plaintiff was an ex parte, Buhari was
represented in court by a Senior
Advocate of Nigerian, Lateef
Fagbemi, who remained within the
court premises until the court rose.
Justice Mohammed also disclosed
that none of the court processes,
including the originating summons,
had been served on the
respondents in the suit.
It could not be ascertained if a new
date had been fixed for the hearing
of the suit.
Buhari, the Independent National
Electoral Commission, the Chief
Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud
Mohammed, are the 1st to 3rd
respondents in the suit
The plaintiff is seeking an order
restraining the CJN from swearing
in Buhari as President on Friday,
May 29.
The suit also seeks an order
nullifying the certificate of return
issued to Buhari by INEC.
The plaintiff hinged the suit on the
allegation that Buhari did not
qualify to contest the presidential
election on the grounds that he
gave false information about his
academic qualification to INEC.
Between January and February 2015
there were about 10 cases
instituted by various plaintiffs
challenging Buhari’s eligibility to
stand for the poll on the grounds of
his academic qualification
controversy. But after he won, the
cases were withdrawn.
In the fresh suit filed by its lawyer,
Ekpo, the group alleged that Buhari
did not meet the qualification
enshrined in the 1999 Constitution
and the Electoral Act to stand for
the March 28, 2015 presidential
The plaintiff is seeking an order of
interim injunction restraining the
CJN “or any person acting in his
capacity” from swearing in Buhari
as President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015
or any other date thereof pending
the determination of the Motion on
The plaintiff seeks among other
orders, “A declaration that the 3rd
defendant be stopped from
swearing in the 1st defendant as
President of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, as the issue of perjury
involving the 1st Defendant has not
been resolved.
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