Certificate Controversy: Lawyer sue Buhari for lacking educational qualification to contest for presidency

A legal practitioner, Mr. Chukwunweike Okafor, on Monday, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja with an application seeking a declaration that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), lacked the educational qualification to stand for the February 14 presidential election.

The originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/01/2015 has Buhari, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission as the first, second and third defendants respectively.

The suit was filed pursuant to Section 131 of the Constitution, which prescribes a minimum qualification for nomination to participate in the presidential election and Section 31 of the Electoral Act that requires all presidential candidates to depose to an affidavit that they have satisfied and complied with the constitutional requirements to be President of Nigeria.

Okafor, in the suit filed through his counsel, Chief Ugo Ugunnadi, is contending that Buhari’s form CF001 with the INEC, wherein he stated that he obtained the minimum educational qualification of West African Senior School Certificate could not be valid as the said certificate was allegedly false or not genuine.

The plaintiff, among other things, is asking the court to declare that “the information contained in Buhari’s affidavit dated November 24, 2014, stating that the Secretary of the Military Board was in custody of his WASSC was false and thereby disqualified him from contesting the 2015 general elections.”

The lawyer is therefore seeking an order of the court “compelling INEC to withdraw, remove and/or delete the names of the 1st and 2nd defendants from the list of persons or political parties eligible to contest for the Office of the President of Nigeria in the 2015 general elections.”

The courts reopened today after being shut down for three weeks by the striking judicial workers in the country.

No date has yet been fixed to hear Okafor’s originating summons.

Credit: Ramon Oladimeji