“No Law Requires Me To Produce My Certificate” – Buhari Tells Tribunal

President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that no law in Nigeria requires him to produce his certificates to prove his eligibility to vie for the presidency.

The president made the assertion on Wednesday, August 21 while adopting his final brief of argument in opposition to the petition which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, filed to nullify his re-election

The president, through his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), argued that he was only required to be educated, under the 1999 Constitution.

Hence, he urged that the petition challenging his election and his educational qualifications be dismissed by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

According to the president, the petition lacked merit and substance.

He said: “The law is well settled and the case-law is crystalized on the point that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) cannot go beyond provisions of sections 131 and 131(cool of the 1999 Constitution.

“The case-law is replete with decisions of this court on the subject. We cannot amend the constitution.

“We need to make it very clear at this point that the constitution and laws of the land do not expect any certificate to be tendered or attached.”

Buhari, further relying on a recent judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal in a certificate scandal case that involved the governorship candidate of the PDP in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, contended that non-attachment of his certificates was not a valid ground to challenge his participation in the February 23 presidential election which he won.

In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), through their lawyers, Prince Lateef Fagbami (SAN) and Yunus Usman (SAN) also asked the Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal to dismiss the petition with the cost.

According to the ruling party, the petition would create an impression that the president lacks basic educational qualifications.

Fagbemi said: “Those who set the standard for secondary education where called. They came and gave the verdict that what the 2nd respondent has was equivalent to Secondary School Certificate.

“The witness said so, and there was no follow-up on that. They did not say that the certificate was fake or forged.

“The position is that we take him to be a secondary school leaver.”

The petition would be reserved for judgment by the panel after all the parties have adopted their final addresses.

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