Campaign fund: NRM sues Buhari, Atiku for spending over N1bn

A Federal High Court, Abuja, Tuesday ordered service of court process on President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar through substituted means.

The two presidential candidates are to be served through the legal department of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for Buhari and the legal department of the PDP for Atiku.

In the suit seeking the cancellation of their participation in the February 23, 2019 presidential election, the plaintiff, Usman Ibrahim Alhaji who contested the presidential election along with Buhari and Atiku on the platform of  his party, National Rescue Movement  (NRM) is praying the court to invoke Section 91(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 to nullify the participation of Buhari and Atiku  at the poll for allegedly violating the Electoral Laws.

Specifically, the plaintiff, through his counsel, Ezekiel Vem Ofou is praying the court to set aside the participation of Buhari and Atiku on the ground that they spent more than one billion naira each as campaign expenses.

Plaintiff claimed that by spending more than one billion naira, Buhari and Atiku have violated the electoral law and are liable to be removed as contestants in the election.

When the matter came up Tuesday, counsel to the plaintiff, Ofou told the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed that he has found it extremely difficult to serve the court papers on Buhari and Atiku, who are the major defendants in the suit because of the retinue of security around them.

The counsel then moved an exparte motion in which he prayed Justice Mohammed for an order of substituted service on the two major defendants 

The ex-parte motion on Order 6 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court practice, for permission to allow him serve Buhari and Atiku through the legal departments of their respective parties.

In a short ruling, Justice Mohammed granted the ex-parte motion and ordered that Buhari and Atiku be served with court processes through their respective political parties.

Justice Mohammed thereafter adjourned the matter to March 26, 2019 for mention.

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