Atiku Vs Buhari: Buhari’s Certificates Continue To Haunt Him
By Tai Emeka Obasi.
Whoever expected fireworks today at the Abuja Appeal Court venue of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal wasn’t disappointed one bit as the four legal Trojans led submissions that had the court glued to attention.
This was the last session before delivery of judgement and specifically mapped out for adoption of final addresses.
From the hugely contentious server, through election irregularties and other matters, the issue of Buhari’s certificates was clearly the fat elephant in the room.
Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN representing the second Respondent, Buhari, argued that the Nigerian Constitution did not and does not require anyone to attach his/her certificates to INEC forms as well as advanced that the attestations from WAEC and Cambridge were enough proofs that the president acquired equivalent of the academic qualification required to be president.
“we can’t change jurisprudence neither can we change the Constitution. The Constitution does not expect any certificate to be tendered or attached to INEC forms.”
He made citations and went on to tell the court to throw away this ground as well as all grounds of the petition.
His other tag team that Chief Lateef Fagbemi described today in court as Allied Forces, equally supported Olanipekun’s arguments in trying to save the president from the sometimes hilarious certificate saga.
When Dr. Livy Uzoukwu took over for the Petitioners, he drove home the fact that the second Respondent quoted three certificates as those he obtained without any proof of such claims and most graveously said under oath that his certifcates were with the Secretary of the Army.
Dr. Uzoukwu emphasised that even Buhari’s own witness when asked the mother of all questions of whether the Nigerian Army took their certificates on admission, responded in mother of all answers that nothing like that ever happened.
The Petitioners lead counsel further argued that instead of Buhari telling the Nigerian Army to provide the certificates as the Commander-In-Chief, he went all the way to Cambridge to get an attestation.
Dr. Uzoukwu didn’t mince words when he affirmed the following;
”No Original Certificates”
”No CTC of Certificates”
”No Photocopy of Certificates”
”No photography of Certificates”
”No Electronic Copies of Certificates”
”None simply because Buhari never had any” the lead counsel summed up.
Based on this and other arguments, the Petitioners called on the Tribunal to uphold the petition.
The Tribunal will now give judgement on a day to be communicated later to all parties. Till then, I will give you daily updates of all that happened today in court.