President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed 13 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, and 10 other counsel members to appeal on the ruling of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja on May 26th 2016. Justice Ademola dismissed the president’s preliminary objection to a suit filed by Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, against the president, challenging the authenticity of his WAEC results.
The West African Examination Council or WAEC is a international examination board that conducts the required examinations needed for entry into college/university. Nigerian nationals in country, including nationals in the West African countries of Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, and Liberia take the exam yearly in hopes to get passing results to fulfill their college dreams.
Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe dragged President Buhari before the court, claiming that he did not meet the educational prerequisite to contest for presidency. He also claims that President Buhari did not sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961 as claimed.
On May 26th, when the suit was filed, President Buhari via his counsel, raised demur to the suit, questioning the mode of service of the originating summons on him and insisting that he is meant 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 believes that the mode of delivery for the summons was within the legal parameters of the court’s processes. Adding that if the summons was sent to the national secretariat office of the APC it would get to him. Dissatisfied with this ruling, Buhari through his legal team has filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeals, Abuja Judicial Division on seven grounds.
Among President Buhari’s legal team, which supported the notice of appeal, is Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), 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 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 defense to the substantive action and had filed nothing in defense of the merits of the case.