The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari possesses the West African School Certificate Examination, WASCE, to contest the 2019 election.
The tribunal said Buhari was not only qualified, but eminently qualified to contest the election, saying that the petitioners, Atiku Abubakar and PDP, could not run away from the fact that Buhari obtained WASCE that qualified him for the election.
The court said apart from being qualified, the president also obtained other certificates to validate claims that he is eminently qualified for the presidential poll.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Garba Mohammed, therefore struck out the claims by the PDP and Atiku that Buhari did not possess the needed qualification for the election and that he presented false information to INEC.
Mohammed added that the Electoral Act did not require certificate to be attached to form CF001, stating that for the fact that one attended school up to school certificate level was even enough to qualify one to contend an election.
He said evidence had shown that Buhari possessed WASCE and obtained credits in English Language, Geography, History and Hausa, plus a pass in English Literature.
He said it was evident that Buhari presented a certificate to the military from which the military extracted his results which he used in joining the military.
In his submission, he said Buhari’s CV contained impressive credentials to contest the election as he had more than a secondary school certificate.
“There is no doubt, he is not only qualified, but eminently qualified for the election,” he said.
In view of overwhelming evidence, the Tribunal chairman struck out PDP’s claims that Buhari did not possess certificate to contest the election and that he presented false information to INEC.
“Where the provision of the law is straight forward, the Court cannot give it an interpretation which it does not suggest,” the court said. “In my view, the provisions of the Electoral Act are clearly inapplicable to the issues in contention.”
The court said the law does not require that a person must attach his certificate before he can be qualified to contest an election.
The court said PDP’s contention is “misconceived as submission of the certificate is not a requirement for the election.
The court said Buhari’s military certificate is higher than the school cert.
The Army, the tribunal chairman said, had dismissed the claims made by the petitioners regarding Mr Buhari’s certificate and that the PDP failed to further prove its claims.
The court held that the evidence tendered by the PDP regarding Mr Buhari’s qualifications were not to be relied upon since the PDP was not the original makers of the documents.