Atiku insists Buhari not qualified to contest presidential election

The presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar Wednesday told the election tribunal that Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari deceived citizens with false academic documents to seek reelection.

“Atiku on Wednesday adopted his final written address in which he pointedly told the PEPT that Buhari resorted to the use of fundamental falsehood to secure clearance from INEC to participate in the February 23 poll and consequently should be disqualified,” Atiku’s media aide Paul Ibe said in a statement.

Atiku’s lawyer Livy Uzoukwu drew the attention of tribunal to a portion of Buhari’s INEC form CF001 where he claimed to have 3 different certificates namely Primary School leaving certificate, WAEC certificate and Officers Cadet certificate from the Nigeria Military.

One of Atiku’s petition against the Nigeria president’s second term election was based on Buhari’s academic qualification.

The PDP and its candidate are asking the tribunal to disqualify Buhari’s election if he fails to tender his academic certificates.

Buhari’s lawyer Wole Olanipekun told the election tribunal that the country’s constitution does not demand he produces his certificates to contest for president.

Atiku, however, said it was shocking and surprising that “No provisional certificate, no CTC of the certificates, no photocopy of certificates and in fact no electronic version of any of the certificates was presented by Buhari throughout the hearing of the petition to dispute claim of the petitioners.”

Atiku claimed Buhari “was not qualified to have stood for the election, in addition to malpractices that prompted his declaration as winner of the election.”

Buhari polled 15, 191, 847 votes while Atiku polled 11, 262, 978 votes. But Atiku said the result was manipulated.

Atiku said the data obtained from INEC’s server showed he polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom he claims polled 16,741,430 votes.

INEC, however, told the tribunal that it had no server where the election results were transmitted during the February 23 presidential election, a claim Atiku faulted.

Consequently, he urged the tribunal to uphold his petition and nullify Buhari’s participation in the election “on the grounds that Buhari gave false information on oath to deceive Nigerians and to secure unlawful qualification for the election.”

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