Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A Deputy Registrar of West African Examinations Council in charge of School Registration, Mr Henry Adewumi, has confirmed before the Presidential election petition tribunal that the Registrar of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Dr Iyi Uwadae, issued a WAEC attestation certificate to Buhari on November 2, 2018.
Adewumi, testifying as President Buhari’s fourth witness, however, disowned the Cambridge University’s Moderated International Examination credentials produced and tendered by Buhari as exhibits before the Tribunal.
Buhari’s lead counsel Chief Wole Olanikpekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had earlier tendered the two documents before Tribunal which admitted them as Exhibits 19 and 21.
The specific documents admitted in evidence are Buhari’s statement of results and the broadsheet for the results of the 18 candidates who sat for the examinations in 1961.
He told the Tribunal under cross-examination by the counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, that as a WAEC official he certified one of the documents bearing the name of the University of Cambridge Moderated Examination earlier tendered as Exhibit marked R21.
The witness further confirmed that the said examination was conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with WAEC.
Adewumi, who said he had been working with WAEC for about 30 years, also confirmed that 18 persons sat for the examinations in 1961.
He said President Buhari was listed as number two on the list of candidates for the examination.
The witness told the Tribunal that Buhari sat for eight subjects and had five credits in the examination – Oral English, C5; History, A3; Geography, C6; Hausa, C5; and Health Science, C6.
He said Buhari came out with aggregate of 32 and he was awarded Grade 2,” he confirmed.
When asked, he confirmed that “whoever has this (the R21 exhibit) has secondary education.”
But when cross-examined by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, Adewunmi said he cannot say whether exhibit R19 was a certificate or not.
“I cannot say whether it is a certificate because my signature is not on the certificate. It is not bearing my name or the name of my organisation,” Adewumi answered.
When asked further, the witness said, “This document is bearing the name of Cambridge University Assessment International Education.”
Asked if the document was issued by WAEC, he said, “It is not a document from the West Africa Examination Council.”
Asked about Exhibit R21, he said, “This is the foundation, the primary foundation for issuance of a certificate.”
Asked again if the document was a certificate, he answered, “This is not a certificate.”
He told the Tribunal that “I have never worked with the University of Cambridge.”
Asked to compare the number of subjects listed against Buhari in the two exhibits, the witness confirmed that in R21, “the number of subjects listed against the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is eight,” and in R19 “six subjects.”
He also confirmed that the first name on the two documents was “Mohamed” and as against the President’s “Muhammad”.
Adewumi further confirmed that WAEC registrar, Dr Iyi Uwadae, issued a WAEC attestation certificate to Buhari on November 2, 2018.
But he disagreed with the position of the petitioners that issuance of an attestation certificate was not limited to cases of loss or misplacement.
Another witness, Mohammed Abba, a Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari, who identified the president in a group photograph of the 1961 set of Katsina Provincial Secondary School, said that the result sheet possessed by the president is not same as a certificate.
Abba claimed that he has known Buhari for over 30 years but that he never served in the Nigerian Army and was never a school mate to Buhari.
He said that the fact he deposed to in his witness statement on oath were obtained from the Curriculum Vitae and available record on Buhari.
When presented with Buhari’s CV, Abba told the Tribunal that, although schools attended by Buhari were listed, no certifcate is listed in the CV or attached to it.
On the differences in the name “Mohamed” Buhari contained in the Cambridge documents and “Muhammadu” Buhari being the name of the President, the witness maintained that the two names are the same in Islam.
Two other witnesses called by Buhari, Mohammed Kwatu, a retired broadcaster in Niger State and Usman Dagona, a businessman in Nasarawa State, maintained that the February 23 presidential election was free and fair.
When their attention was drawn to some results sheets, they told the Tribunal that they were not at the point where alterations were carried out by INEC officials.
Buhari, who opened his defense in the petition against his election on Tuesday, has so far called 7 witnesses who testified for him and also tendered several documents through his counsel.
Further defence in the petition continues on August 1.