On Thursday, a Federal High Court in Abuja asked the Action Alliance Party to present its witnesses in court on October 12 to establish a certificate forgery suit brought against the All Progressives Congress (APC), Presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Action Alliance Party in the suit is seeking disqualification of Bola Tinubu from the 2023 election on alleged certificate Forgery.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu issued the order on Thursday when he fixed October 12 new date to enable parties in the suit to complete the filing of their processes and exchange the same as required by law before the adjourned date.
Tinubu who is the central defendant in the alleged certificate forgery suit has, however, engaged the services of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Ogala to enable him to fortify his defense.
At Thursday’s proceedings, counsel to Action Alliance which instituted the suit, Mr. Ukpai Ukairo, informed the court that he just received the notice of preliminary objection from Tinubu asking the court not to entertain the case against him on various grounds.
Amongst the grounds, Tinubu claimed that the foundation for the certificate forgery suit against him was rooted in the 1999 electoral forms he submitted to the then electoral body.
He also claimed that the report of the Lagos State House of Assembly which probed him on the alleged certificate forgery is the main foundation of the new suit and hence, has become statute-barred.
However, counsel to the Action Alliance, Ukairo informed the court that the claims of the former Lagos State 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 had to be made formally and served on him to enable him to respond appropriately.
While the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC which is the 1sr 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 it.
The Judge accordingly adjourned the matter till October 2, for parties to put their houses in order for proper hearing of the alleged certificate forgery suit.
Action Alliance (AA) had on June 21, asked the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from including the name of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the ballot of the 2023 presidential election.
The party in the Writ of Summon marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/954/2022, predicated its request on the claim that both the APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu are not qualified to participate in the 2023 presidential election on alleged forgery committed by Tinubu in 1999.
The suit filed on behalf of the plaintiff by its lawyer, Mr. Upkai Ukairo, claimed that Tinubu forged his university of Chicago certificate he submitted in 1999 in aid of his qualification for the 1999 governorship election in Lagos State, which was won by Tinubu.
The suit, dated and filed on June 21, has the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress, and Senator Bola Tinubu as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd defendants respectively.