Home » Latest Politics, Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), Presidency » Buhari shouldn’t seek re-election without presenting certificate – Adegboruwa

Buhari shouldn’t seek re-election without presenting certificate – Adegboruwa

A human rights activist and lawyer,  Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, speaks to TOBI AWORINDE on the controversial school certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari

What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding the school leaving certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari?

I believe that there are two issues in respect of his matter. There is a legal issue and there’s the morality and integrity issue. The legal issue is regulated by Section 137 of the constitution and also Section 318 of the same constitution. So, in respect of Section 137, anybody who is a citizen of Nigeria, who is educated and sponsored by a political party, is entitled to contest the elections as president. That occasion has however not been defined as you having a minimum of the school leaving certificate or its equivalent. And the equivalent is defined in summary to mean somebody who can read, write, communicate in English Language and, in the course of his experience and exposure, become a little literate.

So, my understanding of that section is that the constitution has downplayed the physical presentation of the certificate. The emphasis now is on experience and exposure. Even if you attended secondary school and didn’t get up to Class Five to obtain a certificate, it does not disqualify you. In that regard, I don’t think it is compulsory that the President needs to physically present a certificate other than to show that he has been educated to such a level whether in the secondary school, or attended some courses in the course of his military career.

In this particular case, the president has been head of state in the past; he has been a minister in the past, and (as) a major-general in the army, the exposure he has gone through is sufficient enough for us to conclude that he has met the requirement of being able to read, write and communicate in English. The President is entitled to contest legally since he has been sponsored by a political party.

Are you saying that the President is free to contest even if he didn’t submit any certificate to INEC?

Nobody forced the President when he deposed to an affidavit before the Independent National Electoral Commission by which he verified the fact that he possessed the school leaving certificate. So, it is the President and his handlers who have pushed him into this same crisis. All he needed to do was depose to an affidavit to say he had been educated to that level. But if he has now deposed to an affidavit that he has passed through secondary school and he has the certificate; if there is a demand on him to produce it, he has to produce it. As the president of this nation and somebody championing integrity, it cannot be swept under the carpet. If the story of Premium Times is correct to say the principal only said he was admitted and there’s no evidence that he completed it, it would mean that the President has lied on oath and that is a serious matter for anybody aspiring to govern this country. So, if the President is unable to produce that certificate, it would be a moral burden on the All Progressives Congress, whether they can present a candidate who has lied on oath to come and rule the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In that regard, I support the majority of views of most Nigerians that if the President indicates in his affidavit that he has a certificate and he is unable to present it, it is better for him to decline to run for office. And then there are other issues about performance, going by his first term, the killings in the land, the constant blackout and all the failed promises.

Then the final issue is this: It is clear that the President did not buy his form from the APC for nomination. (Kogi State) Governor Yahaya Bello and some other persons claimed to have raised some funds through some organisations, which went and bought the form for him and presented it to him. That is clearly unconstitutional and unlawful. It is against the guidelines of INEC. If you cannot afford the cost of the nomination form of your political party, you are disqualified from contesting. INEC had said the party should not make this a financial burden on its members but nobody forced the APC to impose the cost of N45m on its forms. So, if it has a candidate who couldn’t afford that form, people who are going to contribute money must be transparent. We must know their names and the source of the money because we are talking about a regime that is fighting corruption. If you cannot trace the source of that money, the President cannot lay hold on that form to use it as the basis of his nomination for the office of president. Those are the issues that the President needs to explain to the people of Nigeria.

Is there an onus on the West African Examinations Council to produce the certificate?

WAEC is a public institution, and by virtue of the Freedom of Information Act, any Nigerian can approach the institution to confirm whether it issued or did not issue a school leaving certificate to Buhari as claimed. INEC has that duty in law to produce its own copy or, at least, give a statement of its own archive as to whether such a person has passed through its system or not.

Considering the series of certificate scandals that have rocked the Buhari government, do you think the President should step down like the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun?

If it becomes established that the President swore to an affidavit that he has his WAEC school leaving certificate and whether WAEC or his school or anybody can confirm that he does not possesses it, that should end his presidential ambition. There is no reason for anybody to advise the President to seek election for 2019 if he has lied on oath. That is one angle. The second angle is that that should also end his presidency because the issue of integrity and a transparent government is important to us when we mention the name of President Buhari. If people who work under him and are exposed to this kind of challenge have been able to show to Nigerians by resigning, and the APC as a political party did not allow the Minister of Communications to vie for office because of the controversy surrounding his National Youth Service Corps, I cannot see why it would allow the President to continue to remain in office on behalf of the party, if there is an issue concerning his certificate. It is an impeachable offence and I’m sure the National Assembly will be pressurised to commence impeachment proceedings against the President if it turns out that indeed he does not possess the certificate that he claims to possess.

-Punch

Related Posts

EasyFreeAds Blog News Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=51426

Posted by on Nov 9 2018. Filed under Latest Politics, Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Headlines

NNP BREAKING NEWS:

Categories

Browse National Politics

Featuring Top 5/779 of National Politics

Browse Corruption Politics

Featuring Top 3/128 of Corruption Politics

Advertisement

Browse NNP Columnists

Featuring Top 10/1283 of NNP Columnists

Browse Books & Magazines

Featuring Top 4/15 of Books & Magazines

Alleged corruption: EFCC replies Fayose

--

FEATURED VIDEOS

SEARCH POSTS BY DAY & MONTH

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
2
345
6
7
8
910
11
1213
1415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031

© 2018 New Nigerian Politics. All Rights Reserved. Log in - Designed by Gabfire Themes