From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday struck out the suit challenging the basic academic qualification of President Muhammadu Buhari for contesting in the 2015 presidential elections.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola took the decision following a notice of discontinuance filed by the plaintiff, Nnamdi Nwokocha – Ahaiwe.
The Judge did not award any cost against him (plaintiff).
The court had earlier reserved yesterday for ruling on an application asking the court to stay execution of a judgment it earlier granted against the defendants.
But when the case was called, counsel to the plaintiff, Chikordi Okeorji, informed the court that his client had on June 27, 2016 filed a notice of discontinuance pursuant to order 50 rule 2 (1) of the Federal High Court Rules.
Counsel to the President, Paul Ajiboye did not oppose the application even as he complained that he was not served.
Consequently, Justice Ademola struck out the suit.
The plaintiff, an Abuja-based lawyer, had filed an application asking the Federal High Court to nullify the election of Buhari as president of Nigeria on the grounds that he did not possess the minimum academic requirement for the position.
He also alleged that Buhari did not sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961 as he claimed.
But, Buhari raised a preliminary objection to the suit on the grounds that he was not properly served.
The president challenged the mode of service of the originating summons on him, insisting that he ought to have been served at an address in Kaduna instead of by substituted means at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
Justice Ademola dismissed the preliminary objection on the grounds that it was incompetent noting that the service of the court’s processes on the president through the secretariat of the APC was proper.
The defendants not satisfied with the court’s ruling took the matter to the appeal court asking that the court sets aside or discharge the ex parte order granted in favour of Ahaiwe on February 16, 2015 to serve him with the originating summons by substituted means.
The president also sought the court to make an order setting aside the respondent’s originating summons for being incompetent.
Following the appeal, Justice Ademola adjourned the matter sine die (indefinitely).
But in a turn of event, the judge yesterday announced that it would deliver judgment yesterday on the application to stay execution on his earlier ruling.