The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has denied sighting any petition against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari.
INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said the organisation lacked the powers to disqualify Buhari, a retired army general, for failing to submit his educational credentials to them.
Punch in its inquiry quoted Osaze-Uzzi as saying: “What do you want INEC to do? INEC cannot disqualify anybody and there is nothing we can do. We don’t have any power to disqualify him.He didn’t bring it (certificates) and so there is nothing INEC can do. INEC cannot disqualify him and cannot remove his name. It is only the courts that can disqualify him, if they feel there is something wrong that he has done. I am not aware of any (petition); none that I am aware of for now. I am not aware of any (petition). I am not aware of any so far.”
The official also clarified that there was not a petition against President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, Buhari and other presidential candidates, more than seven days after it displayed their particulars.
An affidavits deposed to by Buhari, stating that the military authorities possessed his certificates had sparked some issues.
“All my academic qualifications documents as filled in my presidential form, President APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary, Military Board as of the time of this affidavit. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purpose”, Buhari stated.
The army in an earlier statement said any serving or retired soldier would be granted access to his credentials by exploring laid down procedures.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Olajide Laleye said, “Every serving and retired Army officer has, at least, a copy of his certificates and credentials kept with the Nigerian Army while that same serving and retired officer has copies of those same certificates and credentials.”
He added that “The Nigerian Army does not refuse to give anybody his credentials if the due process is followed. Now, take note of this. Not only does the Nigerian Army keep these things, the individual officers, whether serving or retired, have copies.”