President Buhari has employed the services of 13 Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and 10 other counsels to appeal the ruling of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja on May 26th this year, dismissing his preliminary objection to a suit filed by an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe against him challenging the authenticity of his WAEC result.
Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe had dragged President Buhari before the court, arguing that he did not meet the educational requirement to contest for President of Nigeria. Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe alleged that President Buhari did not sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate WASC) in 1961 as he claimed.
When the suit came up on May 26th, President Buhari through his counsel, raised an objection to the suit, challenging the mode of service of the originating summons on him and 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. However, Justice Ademola, in his ruling, had held that it was incompetent and upheld the service of the originating court processes on Buhari.
The judge held that the service of the court’s processes on the president through the secretariat of the APC was in order as the court summons would get to him even though it was delivered at his party secretariat. Dissatisfied with this ruling, Buhari through his legal team has filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division on seven grounds of appeal.
Among President Buhari’s legal team, which endorsed the notice of appeal, is Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mr. Lateef O. Fagbemi (SAN), Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu (SAN), Kola Awodein (SAN), Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), Charles Edosomwan (SAN), Emeka Ngige (SAN), Femi Atoyebi (SAN), Femi Falana (SAN), Funke Aboyade (SAN), H.O. Afolabi (SAN), Muiz Banire (SAN), and 10 others.
Reacting to President Buhari’s appeal on the case, Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe said the president has the constitutional right of appeal and was within his rights to exercise it particularly since he had not yet submitted a defence to the substantive action and had filed nothing in defence of the merits of the case.