I’m far more qualified than Atiku, Buhari tells tribunal

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is far more qualified to contest for the presidency than the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

Buhari also challenged Atiku to produce his academic qualifications before the Presidential Election Tribunal.

In response to allegations raised against him in the petition by Atiku, the president faulted his claim, and that of the PDP that he lacked the requisite academic qualification to contest election for the office of president.

In the said document, which was filed by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the president 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, trainings and courses attended, 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 first 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 first petitioner. First petitioner is, hereby, given 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,and noted 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.

Buhari argued that by virtue of section of 137 of 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 majority of lawful votes in substantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.

“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition,” he said.

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