President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to allegations contained in the petition filed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the Presidential Election Tribunal.
In a response filed on April 16 by a team of lawyers led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Wole Olanipekun, President Buhari faulted the claims by Atiku and his party.
He said the former vice president lacked the requisite academic qualification to stand for election to the office of the President and challenged him to produce his academic credentials before the Tribunal.
The President’s response read, “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 first petitioner (Atiku); and that in terms of educational qualifications, trainings and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the first 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.”
President Buhari noted that the entire petition filed by the PDP and Atiku were more about pre-election issues, which the Court of Appeal sitting as a Tribunal lacked jurisdiction.
He argued that the petitioners told lies against themselves in the petition and made conflicting claims which the Tribunal cannot grant.
The President stated 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, therefore, asked the Tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were frivolous.