A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday refused applications filed by two parties interested in joining as defendants in a suit seeking to disqualify Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, APC presidential candidate, from contesting the March 28 polls.
The court also fixed April 22 and 23 for hearing of the substantive suit, which will be taken together with all other applications earlier filed before it.
Delivering ruling on the two applications, the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, held that the applicants were meddlesome interlopers that should not be made parties in the suit.
Justice Ademola said: “It is the court’s opinion that the applicants are nothing more than meddlesome interlopers and busy-bodies who have no interest to protect in the suit.
“Their applications are, hereby, refused in its entirety.’’
Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Mr Chukwu Oshu, the applicants, had sought to be joined as fourth and fifth defendants, to challenge Buhari’s eligibility to contest for allegedly having no minimum Secondary School Certificate qualification as required by law.
Adegboruwa, a lawyer and pro-democracy activist, had argued in his application that the outcome of the suit would affect him, his family and the legal practice in the country.
Similarly, Ochu had argued that he was a chieftain of the APC in Rivers State and would like to vote for Buhari who, if disqualified, would adversely affect him.
A plethora of suits have trailed Buhari’s emergence as APC presidential candidate, basically challenging his eligibility to contest for president on account of a West African School Certificate which they alleged that he does not possess.
Mr Chukwunweike Okafor, one of the plaintiffs in the seven suits, now consolidated, had urged the court to hold that Buhari’s claim in his Form CF001 that his West African School Certificate was with the Nigerian Army, was false, and alleged that Buhari lied under oath.
Okafor had joined Buhari, the APC and INEC as the three defendants in the suit.
With the outcome of today’s ruling and the adjournment until April 22, Buhari and his supporters now get some respite from the initial apprehension that the court may spring a surprise by disqualifying him from contesting the Saturday polls.