Since the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari submitted an affidavit sworn to in an Abuja High Court to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, indicating that his certificates are with the Nigerian military, controversy has continued to rage over the development.
According to reports, Buhari had stated in the affidavit that: “I am the above-named person and deponent to this affidavit therein. All my academic qualifications, documents as filled in my presidential form, President APC/001/2015, are currently with the Secretary, Military Board, as of the time of presenting this affidavit. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purpose.”
While the former Head of State had sworn that his certificates are with the military authorities, the military said it did not have the original certificates.
“The original certificate of any officer or soldier is only needed at the point of entry into the service, either as a cadet officer entering the Nigerian Defence Academy, or when being interviewed as recruits to be sent to the depot for training.
“That is so because they are needed to verify what were in the photocopies supplied by them or from the necessary examining bodies,” the military had said at the weekend.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Olajide Laleye, also stated at the weekend that the army did not keep original copies of certificates of its officers, whether serving or retired.
“Every serving and retired army officer has, at least, a copy of his certificates and credentials kept in the Nigerian Army, while that same serving and retired officer has copies of those same certificates and credentials.
“And there is a laid-down procedure to request for certificates. It is known to any serving and retired officer.
“If you want anything checked in your file, you simply follow the due process and it would be given to you, because the credentials belong to you,” he said.
Laleye added that, “the Nigerian Army does not refuse to give anybody his credentials if the due process is followed. Now, take note of this. Not only does the Nigerian Army keep these things, the individual officers, whether serving or retired, have copies.”
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, however, said the General already had too much baggage to carry, adding that the opposition could go ahead to field a man who would surely be defeated by PDP.
PDP’s spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, said the party was not bothered if the opposition party wanted to go ahead to field a man like Buhari, who had too many liabilities.
Also on Sunday, Minister of State for Works, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, insisted that General Buhari must prove his innocence in the certificate saga, by producing his original certificates.
A source at INEC said the affidavit deposed to at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Abuja and dated November 24, 2014, was stamped and received at INEC headquarters on December 18, 2014.
You can read details on Tribune.