Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
A classmate of the Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the Government College, Kaduna, Mohammed Kabiru Yaro, yesterday, told the Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal in Ilorin that the governor possesses genuine and authentic West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate.
Mr. Yaro, an architect, said they were members of the class that sat for WAEC in June 1976 at the college in Kaduna, Kaduna State.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the March 9, 2019 election, Razak Atunwa, are alleging that business mogul-turned politician presented fake and forged WAEC certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the election.
During cross-examination by the All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi, Yaro presented his original WAEC certificate in court for perusal, adding: “I have my own certificate obtained from that WAEC examination.”
He also revealed that during their time, WAEC wrote surnames in full and initialise other names.
“AbdulRahman, as we used to refer to him, was directly seated in my front and his serial number in WAEC was 199 while mine was 122. Based on what I know about the certificate of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, he was very much qualified to contest the March 9, 2019 election.”he said.
Chief Olujimi prayed the court to tender the certificate of the witness as evidence which petitioners’ counsel, Kinsley Odey, did not object.
However, Mr. Odey asked for the re-cross-examination of the witness on his 1976 WAEC certificate adopted as evidence in the spirit of fair-hearing.
“During the pre-trial session, parties were asked to present documents for identification, but AbudlRazaq (second respondent) did not present his WAEC certificate for identification. The presentation of such document today is a surprise to the petitioners.
“Our application is that the petitioners should be given the opportunity to examine the witness on the document in the interest of fair-hearing,” he said.
Chief Olujimi urged the tribunal to dismiss the request, describing it as un-meritorious.