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The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu

The trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, had directed all the parties in the suit to complete the filing of their processes.

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed October 12, 2022, for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from the 2023 election on alleged certificate forgery.

The trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, had directed all the parties in the suit to complete the filing of their processes and exchange same as required by law before the adjourned date, Daily Sun reports.

Babatunde Ogala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is representing the former Lagos State Governor in the alleged forgery suit as a defendant, while Ukpai Ukairo is representing the Action Alliance (AA) which instituted the suit as the plaintiff. 

Ukairo informed the court during Thursday’s proceedings that he had just received the notice of preliminary objection from Tinubu asking the court not to entertain the case against him on various grounds.

Among the grounds upon which Tinubu is asking the court not to entertain the case was that the foundation for the certificate forgery suit was rooted in the 1999 electoral forms he submitted to the electoral body then.

He also claimed 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.

The Counsel for the plaintiff, however, informed the court that the claims of the former Lagos governor, especially on the statute barred position, would be adequately addressed in the subsequent proceedings.

Ukairo told the judge that Tinubu’s claims made orally by his counsel should be made formally and served on him to enable him to respond appropriately.

It was learnt that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which is the 1st defendant in the suit, sought time to respond to the suit, the APC was not represented in court despite proof of service of the suit on the ruling party.

After listening to arguments, the judge adjourned the matter till October 2, for a hearing and ordered parties to put their houses in order.

The court also ordered the plaintiff to be ready to call its witnesses on the adjourned date to establish his case against the APC presidential candidate.

The Action Alliance on June 21 asked the court to restrain INEC from including the name of APC on the ballot for the 2023 presidential election.

The plaintiff in the Writ of Summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/954/2022, predicated its request on the claim that both the APC and its presidential candidate, Tinubu are not qualified to participate in the 2023 presidential election because of alleged forgery committed by Tinubu in 1999. 

The suit filed on behalf of the plaintiff by its lawyer, Upkai Ukairo, claimed 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 Tinubu.

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