2023: Appeal Court strikes out suit seeking to disqualify Tinubu

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed an appeal filed by Action Alliance against Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Bola Tinubu.

The suit sought the disqualification of presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, from contesting the 2023 election on the grounds that he forged his University of Chicago certificate.

The party also alleged that Tinubu’s claim of attending Government College, Ibadan is false, contending that he is not qualified to contest for the office of president.

They prayed the court for “a declaration that by virtue of Sections 224, 23 and 24 of the 1999 Constitution and the constitution of the APC, the office of the president of Nigeria is to be occupied by a man of integrity and impeccable character”.

Earlier on, in a judgment delivered on December 13, 2022, the trial court held that the suit of the plaintiff is statute-barred.

However, in an appeal filed on December 21, 2022 and marked, CA/ABJ/CV/ 1475/ 2022, the AA prayed to the court to set aside the judgment of the trial court.

In defence of the appeal, Babatunde Ogala SAN on behalf of the 2nd Respondent, All Progressives Congress filed 2nd respondent brief of argument and a notice of preliminary objection stating that: The Appellant Brief of Argument is statute-barred predicated and that the appeal is academic.

On February 3, 2023 when the appeal came up for hearing, Julius O. Ishola on behalf of the APC adopted the notice of preliminary objection and 2nd respondent brief of argument filed and prayed the Court to strike out the appeal for lack of merit.

Reacting to the notice and the brief, counsel to the appellant filed an appellant reply brief and adopted the same urging the Court to dismiss the objections filed and allow the appeal.

Ruling, the court of appeal in a unanimous judgment agreed with counsels to the 2nd and 3rd Respondents and dismissed the appeal for being statute barred having been filed more than 22 years from the occurrence of the purported cause of action.

The court also stated that the appellant lacked locus standi to institute the suit and described it as a meddlesome interloper. 

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