The Federal Government on Wednesday reacted to a Federal High Court, ruling which sat in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, ordering the National Assembly to begin impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who reacted to the development, initially feigned ignorance about the ruling, but said the presidency was yet to officially get the ruling compelling the National Assembly to proceed with the impeachment process.
Mohammed, while fielding questions from State House reporters on the sidelines of the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Buhari, said, “I am just hearing it for the first time, until the court formally inform us before we can react to it.”
By legal procedure, the ruling from the court is supposed to be served to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who will in turn brief the presidency of the development.
Recall that Justice Maurine Onyetenu gave the order on Wednesday, following a suit filed by two individuals, Kanmi Ajibola, a lawyer and Sulaiman Adeniyi, a rights activist.
The duo had written to both the lower and the upper chambers of the National Assembly on the need to impeach President Buhari, citing alleged constitutional breaches by the President and threatened that they (Ajibola and Adeniyi) would approach the court if they (National Assembly) failed to act accordingly.
But when the lawmakers failed to comply, the duo headed for court and filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Osogbo, asking for an Order of Mandamus to compel both the Senate and the House of Representatives to start impeachment proceedings against the President.
In the suit filed, on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, the Adeniyi and Ajibola hinged their arguments on four grounds as to why the National Assembly should impeach the President.
In the Motion Ex-parte, the duo claimed that in flagrant violation of the 1999 Constitution, President Buhari contested election, won and was sworn in as the President on May 29, 2015, without possessing the basic constitutional requirements, which would have qualified him to contest for the election.
They further alleged that the 4th Respondent, which is 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.
“In the light of the 4th Respondent’s placement to continue in the office as the president, he has no certificate and basic requirements upon which this placement to continue in the office can be placed,” they had claimed.