Godwin Tsa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to produce his academic qualifications before the presidential election tribunal.
In his response to the allegations raised against him in the petition by Atiku faulted the claim by the former Vice President Aand the PDP that he lacked the requisite academic qualification to contest election for the office of the President.
In the said document which was filed by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the President said he was far more qualified than Atiku and challenged Atiku to produce his academic credentials before the tribunal.
He said: “The respondent avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner (Atiku); and that in terms of educational qualifications, training and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals, and experience.
“Respondent states further that it is the 1st petitioner, who is not qualified to contest the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and challenges the educational credentials and certificates of the 1st petitioner.
“1st petitioner is hereby given the notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates.”
Buhari equally faulted the entire petition filed by the PDP and Atiku, noting that they are more about pre-election issues, which the Court of Appeal, sitting as a tribunal lacked jurisdiction.
He also argued that the petitioners told lies against themselves in the petition and made conflicting claims which the tribunal cannot grant.
For instance, Buhari noted that while the petitioners claimed to have wone the last presidential election and also won elections in many states in the south-south and south-eastern part of the country, they also urged the court to nullify the election and order a fresh presidential election.
Burari argued that by virtue of Section of 137of the Electoral Act, petitioners cannot question the results of elections in states where they claim to have won and still retain themselves as petitioners.
He asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the reliefs the petitioners sought by the petitioners are frivolous.
“The entire reliefs are not justifiable, as the petitioners, who claim to have scored the majority of lawful votes an insubstantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.
“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition.”