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PDP, Atiku to tribunal: Buhari lied about academic credentials

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, have accused President Muhammadu Buhari of making false claims about his academic qualifications.

The party and its candidate argued that the President’s claim, in his response to the petition they filed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), that he (Buhari) was more qualified than Atiku, was also a false assertion.

They noted that unlike Atiku, the President failed to exhibit his credentials, which he claimed to possess.

The PDP and Atiku raised the issues in their reply to President Buhari’s response.

They are at the PEPT to challenge the outcome of the last presidential election, which President Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), won.

In the reply filed on April 15 by their lawyers, led by Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), the PDP and Atiku argued that, having failed to attach the credentials to the Form CF001, which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it could be concluded that the President lied that his certificates were with the Army.

The duo challenged him to, as the incumbent President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to direct the Army, where he once served, to make his credentials public.

They added: “In further response to Paragraph 381(iv) of the second respondent’s reply, aver that the petitioners have no knowledge of any certificates or alleged qualifications issued to the second respondent (Buhari), but contend that second respondent falsely represented that his certificates are in the custody of the Nigerian Army when the second respondent, by his own admission, is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“In further response to Paragraph 381(iv) of the second respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the second respondent as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria could easily order the Army Secretary to produce the certificates allegedly submitted, if they actually exist.

“Contrary to Paragraph 381 (i-iv) of the second respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the second respondent does not possess the educational qualification he claimed to have in his INEC Form CF001 submitted to the first respondent (INEC), having not been attached as required.

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“In reply to Paragraph 383 of the second respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the first petitioner (Atiku) is eminently qualified to contest election for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and had indeed attached evidence of his educational qualifications to his INEC Form CF001 submitted to the first respondent, unlike the seconnd respondent (Buhari) who did not attach evidence of the qualifications he claimed in his INEC Form CF001 because he does not possess them as he falsely claimed.”

The PDP and Atiku argued that “the purported training and courses” which President Buhari had claimed placed him “head and shoulders” above Atiku in respect to educational qualification to contest the presidential election “did not culminate in the issuance of any certificates he claimed in his INEC Form CF001”.

They described the President’s claim of being head and shoulders above Atiku, in qualification and experience, as erroneous.

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