Barely two weeks after been declared winner of last month’s presidential elections, President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, maybe heading for another hurdle that may consume his reelection for a second term.
According to TheCable, one of the presidential candidate of the February 23 polls, Usman Ibrahim-Alhaji of the National Rescue Movement, NRM, has approached a court seeking the disqualification of President Muhammadu Buhari and his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Ibrahim-Alhaji accused Buhari and Atiku of excess spending on campaigns during the presidential election. The plaintiff also wants the court to invoke section 91(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 to nullify the participation of the duo in the February 23 election for allegedly violating the Electoral Act 2010.
Speaking through Ezekiel Ofou, his counsel, Ibrahim-Alhaji is demanding the court to set aside the participation of Buhari and Atiku on the grounds that they spent over N1 billion each on campaign expenses.
During court session on Tuesday, Ofou lamented before Ahmed Mohammed, trial judge, that he found it extremely difficult to serve the court papers on Buhari and Atiku, who were the main defendants in the suit because of the retinue of security around them.
He then moved an ex parte motion in which he prayed the court for an order of substituted service on the two major defendants.
He based the ex parte motion on Order 6 Rule 5 of the federal high court Practice Direction for permission to allow him serve Buhari and Atiku through the legal departments of their respective parties and the trial judge granted the application for substituted service on the two major defendants.
Buhari and Atiku are to be served through the legal departments of the APC and PDP respectively. Also mentioned as defendants in the suit are the APC, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The case was adjourned till March 26.
Meanwhile, political analysts have dismissed Ibrahim-Alhaji’s claim, saying he has no concrete evidence that shows whether the parties involved did really spend above or below the stipulated amount, and as such, adviced the Judge to throw out the case for lack of merit.
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