A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, fixed October 12 for hearing in a suit seeking disqualification of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from the 2023 election on alleged certificate forgery.
The trial Judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, fixed the new date to enable parties in the suit to complete the filing of their processes and exchange the same as required by law before the adjourned date.
When the matter came up on Thursday, counsel to Action Alliance (AA) which instituted the suit, Mr Ukpai Ukairo, informed the court that he just received the Notice of Preliminary Objection from Tinubu asking the court not to entertain the case against him on various grounds.
Amongst the grounds, Tinubu claimed that the foundation for the certificate forgery suit against him was rooted in the 1999 electoral forms he submitted to the then electoral body.
He also claimed that the report of the Lagos State House of Assembly which probed him on the alleged certificate forgery is the main foundation of the fresh suit and hence, has become statute-barred.
However, counsel to the Action Alliance, Ukairo informed the court that Tinubu’s claims, especially on the statute-barred position would be adequately addressed in the subsequent proceedings and further told the Judge that Tinubu’s claims made orally by his counsel has to be made formally and served on him to enable him to respond appropriately.
While the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is the 1st defendant in the suit, sought for time to respond to the suit, the APC was not represented in court despite proof of service of the suit on it.
The trial Judge, Justice Egwuatu then, adjourned the matter till October 2, for parties to put their houses in order for proper hearing of the alleged certificate forgery suit and also, ordered the plaintiff to be ready to call its witnesses on the adjourned date so as to establish his case against Tinubu.
The Action Alliance had on June 21, asked the court to restrain INEC from including the name of the APC in the ballot of the 2023 presidential election on the grounds that, both the APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu are 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, Mr Upkai Ukairo, claimed that Tinubu forged his university of Chicago certificate he submitted in 1999 in aid of his qualification for the 1999 governorship election in Lagos State, which was won by Tinubu.