A political party, Action Alliance, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission from including the name of the All Progressives Congress in the ballot of the 2023 presidential election.
The party also asked the court for an order restraining the commission from accepting the name of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the APC presidential candidate in the forthcoming general elections.
The plaintiff, in the Writ of Summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/954/2022, obtained by journalists on Tuesday, predicated its request on the claim that both the APC and its presidential candidate were not qualified to participate in the 2023 presidential election on alleged forgery committed by Tinubu in 1999.
The suit filed on behalf of the plaintiff by its lawyer, Upkai Ukairo, claimed that Tinubu forged the University of Chicago certificate he submitted in 1999 to aid his qualification for the 1999 governorship election in Lagos State, which was won by him.
The suit has INEC, APC and Tinubu as first, second and third defendants respectively.
In a 16-paragraph statement on oath deposed by one Kalu Agu, the plaintiff submitted that “the third defendant is a person who is not qualified for election to the office of President of Nigeria on the grounds of alleged forgery.”
According to the deponent, the third defendant had provided false information and attached forged documents in his form CF 001, he submitted to INEC in 1999 in aid of his qualification for the governorship poll.
The deponent stated that the claims of Tinubu that he possesses BSc degrees in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Chicago and Chicago State University in 1976 and 1979 respectively were false.
“The 3rd defendant knew he did not possess all the educational qualifications he listed in the said INEC form”, he added.
The plaintiff said in view of Section 137(1)(j) of the 1999 Constitution, the court should declare that the third defendant, “having in 1999 presented a forged certificate to INEC, is not qualified to contest for the office of President.”
No date has been set aside for the hearing of the suit.
Pro-Tinubu groups react
The Chairman of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, during a telephone interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, said AA would be defeated in court.
“Well, they said they are in court, we will meet them in court and of course, they will be defeated in court because Tinubu will contest the election and win so that group better go and find better ways of campaigning,” he said.
Similarly, the National Coordinator of the Asiwaju Progressive Forum, Mr Adewale Adeogun, also in a telephone interview with The PUNCH said Tinubu has the right to defend himself in court.
“I know that they are being sponsored by those who are intimidated by Asiwaju’s candidature.”
“Since the AA has chosen to go to court, and I am sure court is meant for humans, and not animals, then Asiwaju will be able to defend himself in the court of law,” he said.