The Action Alliance (AA) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from including the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the ballot for the 2023 presidential election.
The party is equally seeking the court to restrain INEC from accepting the name of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the presidential candidate of APC in the election.
In the writ of summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/954/2022, AA predicated its request on the claim that both the APC and its presidential candidate are not qualified to participate in the 2023 presidential election over alleged forgery committed by Tinubu in 1999.
AA claimed that Tinubu did not possess the certificates he claimed to have acquired from St. Paul’s Aroloya Children’s Home School, Ibadan from 1958 to 1964; Government College, Ibadan from 1961 to 1971; Richard Daley College, Chicago, Illinois, USA from 1969 to 1971; University of Chicago from 1972 to 1976; and Chicago State University from 1977 to 1979 in the INEC form CF001 in 1999.
The suit, filed by AA’s lawyer, Mr Ukpai Ukairo, further contended that “by virtue of sections 224 and 24 of the 1999 Constitution and the constitution of the 2nd defendant (APC), the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is to be occupied by a man of integrity and impeccable character.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said Tinubu cannot be considered a presidential candidate until he finds his missing certificate.
PDP’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Ambassador Umar Damagum, stated this yesterday when he received the Editorial team of Daily Trust led by the Chairman, Editorial Board, Dr Suleiman Suleiman, on a courtesy visit in Abuja.
While responding to a question on how PDP intends to defeat the APC, Damagum said: “I will respond to issues concerning him, (Tinubu) when he sees his certificates. I don’t even see him as a candidate because there is a laid down requirement to be a candidate.
“I don’t think that he is a candidate now but when he sees his certificates, we can consider him as a candidate.”
He also said the party was not worried over the political figures across parties visiting Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike after he lost PDP’s presidential ticket.
He said, “The party will only be worried if you see him (Wike) going after them; then you can say he is romancing them. I believe he is still a member of this party. He believes in this party and there is no sign that he is leaving.”
Meanwhile, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State said there would have been no controversy on the certificates of Tinubu if INEC had a functional server.
He spoke yesterday while fielding questions from State House reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Uzodimma said: “Well, all the things so mentioned are entirely party challenges that will be resolved. But for my presidential candidate, the issue of certificate shouldn’t even arise. In 1999, he contested elections and became the governor of Lagos. In 2003, he contested election second term and became governor of Lagos.
“He ran and won as a senator in the country. Were record keeping efficient, and had INEC servers been functional, he wouldn’t need to do fresh submission.
“However, if whatever he is supposed to submit is not handy, it is not late yet. I’m sure before the time, he will submit whatever is required of him.”
Asked if he was still convinced that APC remained the party to beat in Nigeria despite the difficulty to find a running mate, he said: “What do you mean by difficulty? Who told you? The deadline is not yet here. Until the period of submission is over and we are not able to put a running mate, that is the only time you can ask this kind of question.
“However, I know because of the strength of character in our party, being the ruling party and how important the party is to us, including you here, I appreciate your concern but be rest assured that we will fill a complete ticket for the presidential contest.”