Official spokesperson of the President Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Festus Keyamo, is claiming that based on the Nigerian Constitution, an aspirant does not need a WAEC certificate to become a president or governor in the country.
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not impressed. It is asking President Muhammadu Buhari to tender his own since he claims he has one. He should do so to the “Presidential Election Petition Tribunal instead of allowing his campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, to insult the sensibility of Nigerians with lame attempt at diversionary tactics”.
On Monday, Keyamo had stated on his verified Twitter handle “There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of president. In fact, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the Constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become president of Nigeria.
“Yes. Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ to mean Primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to just speak, write, understand and communicate in English language to the satisfaction of INEC. No WAEC certificate is needed.
“By the definition of ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ in Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution, you don’t need a WAEC certificate to become President or Governor, but if you present a FORGED WAEC or other certificate to INEC for any office you will be disqualified. #OsunStateScenario.”
In a statement on Monday evening, “PDP spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said: The party also calls on Nigerians to note that in claiming that an aspirant does not need WAEC certificate, but the ability to speak English, to contest for the office of the President, the Buhari Presidency, through Festus Keyamo, has finally admitted that President Buhari does not have a WAEC certificate as he claimed in his INEC form.
“The PDP says it is completely inexcusable for President Buhari to swear to an affidavit to claim an educational qualification he does not possess.
“An attempt to deceive the public using a defective reading and skewed interpretation of a section of the constitution cannot exonerate President Buhari.”
But Keyamo earlier tweeted, “WAEC has confirmed the authenticity of PMB’s certificate by issuing an attestation of it. Case closed.
“In Osun case scenario, WAEC has denied the authenticity. See the difference?
Keyamo noted that it was “extremely foolish” for anybody who is not statutorily empowered to issue WAEC certificates to challenge the body that has the statutory power to issue certificates.
“Let me end my free lecture series by saying that the crux of the matter is that if you don’t have a WAEC certificate, there’s no need to go ahead and forge one in a bid to be governor or president.
“You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in Osun case scenario,”
For PDP, Section 295 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is very clear on issues of interpretations and reference to questions of law.
It maintains that the onus is on President Buhari, as ‘Mr. Integrity’ to tender the certificate he claims to possess before the tribunal instead of this lame diversion from Presidential aides.