‘Presentation of certificate to INEC not mandatory’

•Buhari, APC reply Atiku’s, PDP’s claim President didn’t tender certificate •Respondents fault report of petitioners’ experts

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have faulted a core argument by Atiku Abubakar and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in their petition that the President was not qualified to contest the last presidential election.

The petitioners allegedly that President Buhari allegedly failed to submit his secondary school certificate to the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC).

The President and the APC argued that the Constitution does not mandate any candidate seeking to contest an election for the office of the President to attach his school certificate among documents to be attached to the Form CF001 to be submitted to INEC.

“Section 131(d) of the Constitution provides that a person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if ‘he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent’.

“From this clear constitutional provision, the question of tendering a certificate, or the mountain, which the petitioners have unfortunately made out of the molehill of a particular certificate, does not arise.

“All that the Constitution requires and demands is education up to school certificate level or its equivalent. While this section of the Constitution is very clear and unambiguous, giving no room for no conjecture, the Constitution goes further to define what ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ means under Section 318,” they said.

This formed part of the arguments by President Buhari and APC in their final written addresses filed before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in reaction to similar final addresses filed by Atiku and the PDP.


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