Nigeria’s Supreme Court provided reasons for the failure of the petition filed by opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Friday, 15 November 2019, the Supreme Court in Abuja said that President Muhammadu Buhari was eminently qualified to contest for the 2019 Presidential elections. This follows its dismissal of the petition of PDP’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on 30 October 2019.
Abubakar, the court explained, failed to prove that Buhari was not educated up to secondary school level.
The apex court held that Buhari did not need to submit his school certificate to contest election.
Justice John Okoro read the submissions of the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN) in the absence of the counsel of the plaintiff.
The court held that the failure of the appellants to call credible witnesses was fatal to their case as they presented only five witnesses, including a star witness who relied on hearsay evidence.
He added that the appellants failed to prove issues of over-voting when it could not produce an authentic voters’ register to validate its claim.
Okoro stated that the unanimous decision of the court delivered on the 30 October 2019 is in total agreement with the verdict of the lower court, which upheld and affirmed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The court held that contrary to the claim by the appellants, no law requires a candidate to submit their academic certificates to INEC before being allowed to contest election.
The Supreme Court also held that the constitution does not require one to possess a secondary school certificate to be qualified, but that schooling up to secondary school, without possessing the result of the final examination, is sufficient.
It said that Buhari did not only show that he has a secondary school certificate and rose to the rank of Major General in the Army, he attended military training, became the nation’s Head of State, could communicate in English and possessed a primary school leaving certificate, all to the satisfaction of INEC.