In a bid to have section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 deleted, President Muhammadu Buhari has enlisted the services of five Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to battle the fierce legal battle instituted against him by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP on the Electoral Act dispute.
The five SANs are Chief Oladipupo Okpeseyi, renowned Professor of law, Yemi Akinseye George, Abdul Atadoga Ibrahim, Tijani Alkali Gasali and Ehiogie West-Idahosa.
The senior lawyers are mandated to fortify the position of the Presidency that section 84 (12) of the 2022 Electoral Act is unconstitutional, null and void and should be deleted.
Already, Buhari, through the legal team being coordinated by Okpeseyi SAN has filed a Preliminary Objection suit against the PDP suit seeking its outright dismissal on the ground that the suit failed to disclose any cause of action against him.
The President who is the 1st and major defendant in the court action labelled PDP as a busy body seeking to take over the constitutional functions of the National Assembly through the back door.
He had on Thursday at the Federal High Court filed a joint counter-affidavit alongside the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to debunk all allegations made against them by the party.
In the new process, Buhari told the court that PDP was registered as a political party but now seeking to take over the functions of the Senate on law-making and law amendment.
He asked the court to resist the temptation of granting the request of the PDP so as not to impede the growth of democratic governance in the country.
Buhari’s preliminary objection against the suit was predicated on two major grounds among which are that the suit is incompetent as it does not disclose any reasonable cause of action thereby robbing the court of jurisdiction.
He claimed that the suit of the plaintiff is premature as there is nothing before the court showing the existence of any cause of action.
The President also hinged his call for the dismissal of the suit on the reason that it discloses no wrongful act against him or any injury suffered by PDP or any damage likely to be suffered by the party if the Electoral Act’s section 84 (12) is deleted.
Ground two of the objection was premised on abuse of court process in view of a judgment by the same court in Umuahia delivered by Justice Evelyn Anyadike on March 18 in suit No FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 which nullified and set aside section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
In the bid to justify his request for dismissal of PDP’S suit, Buhari cited section 240 of the 1999 Constitution which forbids the Federal High Court from sitting as an Appeal Court on its own decisions.
A copy of the preliminary objection sighted showed it was endorsed by Oladipupo Okpeseyi SAN on the authority of President Buhari and has been served on parties in the suit for hearing on May 16 by Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo.