Court Dismisses Certificate Suit Against Buhari

February 27, 2019
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A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has struck out the case seeking to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari from the 2019 elections over circumstances surrounding his school certificate.

BUHARI A lawyer, Lezina Amegua, had prayed the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to disqualify the President, but the trial judge, Justice Ishaq Sani, struck out the case for lack of merit. Also joined as respondents in the suit
were All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Amegua had sought an order of the court for the President to produce his original school certificate or its equivalent and master sheet of the said results before the court and for INEC to also tender receipt of its record of same documents or its equivalent submitted to it by the President. Justice Sani, in his ruling, said the plaintiff from the facts deposed to in his affidavit in support, did not show how production of the first defendant’s original school certificate or its equivalent affects his interest as an individual.

The court further held that the plaintiff did not contest any electoral position in 2015, neither was he a presidential candidate nor a political party to protest the participation and qualification of the President in 2015 and the 2019 general election.

According to Justice Sani, “the concept of locus standi focuses not on the merit of the case, but of the person seeking to approach the court. “The essence is to protect the court from being used as playground by professional litigants, busy bodies, meddlesome interlopers and cranks that have no real stake or interest in the subject matter of the litigation they seek to pursue.

“I agree with learned counsel for the fourth defendant that the plaintiff has no relationship with the reliefs in this suit and to grant same as rightly submitted would amount to opening the floodgates for the institution of actions, whether or not it affects the right of the plaintiff.

“There must be a dispute between a person who makes a claim and the one against whom the claim is made and the action must be justiciable.

“Plaintiff must show that the act complained of affects rights and obliga-tions peculiar or personal thereto. He must also show that his private rights have been infringed upon or there is a threat of such infringement or injury.”

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