Despite the certificate scandal that rocked the presidential candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari before the 2015 general elections, the Presidency on Sunday declared that he has no certificate scandal.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had in 2015 claimed that Buhari was not qualified to contest the 2015 Presidential elections because he has failed to fulfil the basic requirements in Sections 131 of the 1999 constitution and Section 31 of the Electoral Act.
It further accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) covering Buhari up, by allowing him to continue in the election without submitting any personal particular of minimum school leaving certificate for the 2015 election.
“Shockingly, from INEC documents displayed in all constituencies, he also did not submit anything in 2011 and never referred the electoral umpire then to the Secretary of the Military Board as well as previous elections he contested as evidenced in all available INEC records until this current discovery”, then Director, Media and Publicity for the Presidential campaign, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had said.
It was not until June 2016, that Justice Ademola Adeniyi, threw out the certificate case instituted in court against Buhari, by one Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe.
However, Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, reacting to a report in a national newspaper on leaders with past certificate controversy on Sunday, denied that the President has any such scandal.
Shehu wrote in a letter to the national newspaper, “In reaction to your cover story this morning Sunday, March 26, 2017, we wish to emphatically state that President Muhammadu Buhari does not fit into your categorisation of leaders with certificate scandals because he bears none that is on available records.
“In the course of the contest for the office of the President in 2015, a number of wild, untrue and malicious allegations were made against him in order to stop him from contesting for the office in the election’’.
“The issue of certificates was raised against him but the campaign successfully dealt with the allegations by providing evidence that not only was he qualified to run, he had a far higher academic qualification than is required by the constitution. As a result, he went on to run for the office and eventually win.
“Since the purpose of the challenge was primarily to stop him from being a candidate in that election, the challengers either voluntarily withdrew or abandoned the cases soon after he won and all of them were subsequently struck off by the courts.
“The President has no certificate case hanging on his neck. The Punch editors should kindly update their records to avoid making this repeated mistake.”