By Uche Mbah
For the second time in recent times, an Abuja court has dismissed a suit challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s qualification for contesting the 2019 Presidential elections on technical grounds. The supreme Court has also recently ruled on Osun governorship elections on technical grounds.
While the Supreme court carefully avoided the merits of the case but based their ruling technically on the absence of the head of the tribunal to nullify the PDP appeal ruling, the court of Appeal in Abuja hinged their ruling on the fact that the petitioners were late in filing their case.
Recall that three applicants- Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy Kyari el-Kuris-had approached the three-member panel of the court led by Justice Atinuke Akomolafe-Wilson to appeal against the ruling of a lower court which also objected to the timing of filling of the case.
In a single judgement read by Mohammed Idris, the court upheld the ruling of the high court and struck out the motion.
“We have decided to settle on the preliminary objection. To determine the issue, we have to pay serious attention to when the cause of action arose.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the cause of action arose on October 18 when the documents said to be false that is the Curriculum Vitae and affidavit were submitted to INEC in form CF001,” the court had ruled.
The lower court has recused itself on ground of lack of jurisdiction, a position also held by the appeal court.
It will be recalled that the case of Buhari’s qualification to contest is one of the five point suit being pursued by Atiku Abubakar in his case against President Buhari.
Meanwhile, Atiku’s Lawyer Friday told the Appeal Court that his witnesses have been ambushed and attacked on their way to the tribunal by bandits. The Tribunal has adjourned sittings till Monday.