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Published On: Sun, Jul 1st, 2018

Activists sue Buhari; seek impeachment

By OBINNA EZUGWU

A pro-democracy activist, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola and Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to Federal High Court, Oshogbo over his inability to tackle the growing menace of Fulani herdsmen across the country. They are also suing him for failing to produce his Ordinary level Certificate as required by the electoral law before contesting for the office.

The activists stated that President Buhari has committed many impeachable offences which is why they joined the leadership and the entire members of the National Assembly in the suit for failing to perform their legitimate responsibility of commencing the process of his impeachment.

The duo had earlier written to both the lower and the upper chambers of the National Assembly on the need to impeach President Buhari, citing alleged constitutional breaches and threatened that they would take the matter to court if the lawmakers failed to do so

The Osun State based activists had on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, filed a suit at the Osogbo High Court asking for an order of mandamus to compel both the Senate and the House of Representatives to start the impeachment proceedings of President Buhari.

In the motion ex-parte, the duo claimed that in flagrant violation of the 1999 constitution as amended, President Buhari contested election, won and was sworn in as the President on the 29th day of May, 2015 without possessing the basic constitutional qualification for the position.

They further alleged that the President Buhari “in flagrant violation of section 137 (1) (j) of the 1999 constitution presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of the 2015 presidential election that brought him to the office of the president”.

They also accused the president of treating orders of the court with disdain and of abusing the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at will, particularly from the angle of the observance of the Federal character as contained in section 14 of the constitution.

“The 4th Respondent on the 29th day of May 2015, took an oath of office to the effect that he would rule in accordance to and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly section 14 (2) (b) which stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” they said.

“On the contrary, the 4th Respondent has proved to be unable to guarantee the security of lives and properties of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in fulfillment of his oath of Office. The herdsmen’s killings of innocent citizens under the leadership of the 4th Respondent are now unbearable; it is unprecedented.”

The activists also accused Buhari of misappropriating public funds by making purchase of Tucano aircraft without appropriation.

“The 4th Respondent in contravention of the due process and sections 80 and 81 of  the 1999 constitution spent about $496 Million on the purchase of Tucano Jets without the approval of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as required by the law.

“The 4th Respondent ordered to be withdrawn, money from public fund of the Federation without the approval of the National Assembly or the authorization of its act and same used for the purchase of Tucano Jets.

“By the provision of section 143 of the 1999 constitution, the 1st to 3rd Respondents (The Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly) have the statutory duty to impeach the 4th Respondent as the president and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on gross misconduct.

“The 1st to 3rd Respondents have closed their eyes to the gross misconduct of the 4th Respondent.

They told the court that as applicants in the matter, they have the right and duty to compel the 1st and 3rd Respondents to perform their statutory duty of impeachment against the 4th Respondent, having bordered on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Citing several constitutional authorities in the written address in support of the motion ex-parte and with 44-paragraph affidavits, the duo posed some questions by putting Nigeria side by side with some developed nations.

“Can the conduct of the 4th Respondent, particularly on the presentation of a forged certificate, be condoned in America or Great Britain unchecked? Can the 4th Respondent continue to benefits from his act of forgery and infraction of constitution?

“Definitely, an American president cannot be genuinely accused of presentation of a forged certificate and still be allowed to continue as the president, likewise the prime minister of Great Britain”,they noted.

Speaking on development, Comrade Sulaiman urged the authority of the Nigeria Military which earlier claimed to be in the custody of the Buhari’s SSCE certificate to release it to the  appropriate quarter before the Court proceedings on the matter in order to avoid Toronto and Chicago-gates saga.

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