THE presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last presidential election Atiku Abubakar and his party have insisted that they proved their claim that President Muhammadu Buhari was not qualified to contest the election.
Atiku and the PDP, who are petitioners before Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) said they were able to establish allegation of malpractices and non-compliance with Electoral Act in the 11 focal states in which they contest the outcome of the last presidential election.
The petitioners, in the written address, raised five issues for determination and urged the court to uphold their petition. The issues raised include: Whether the 2nd respondent (Buhari) was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election; whether the 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st respondent (INEC) affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election and whether from the pleadings and evidence led it was established that the 2nd respondent was duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
“The summary of the Petitioners’ case on the pleadings in respect of the non-qualification of the 2nd respondent is in paragraphs 388 to 405 of the Petition. The case is that the 2nd respondent did not possess the certificates relating to the qualifications, which he claimed in his Form CF001.
“The 2nd respondent had listed his educational credentials in proof of his qualification to contest the election in the said form, which he then submitted to the 1st respondent. The qualifications claimed by the 2nd respondent were (a) First School Leaving Certificate; (b) West African School Certificate (WASC); and (c) Officer Cadet (whatever that means). None of the alleged certificates was attached to Exhibit P1.
“The Petitioners submit that the 2nd respondent was not qualified to contest the presidential election because the 2nd respondent failed to satisfy the mandatory requirements of Section 131 (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
The petitioners argued that while the electoral body pleaded, in kits reply to the petition, that it found the 2nd respondent‘s educational qualification acceptable, at trial, “the 1st respondent abandoned its pleadings and did not call any of the witnesses it had listed, or any other.