CERTIFICATE SCANDALS THREATEN 2019 DREAMS
The muddy waters of power has already made casualty of some politicians as politics, law and morality come to play ahead of the 2019 elections over the issue of academic and other qualifications with many politicians who have tasted the sweetness of office having sleepless nights to remain in the corridors of power amidst resistance by their opponents and ‘whistle blowers’.
The recent publication of particulars of candidates for various offices by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed a kind of “humility” by many aspirants who simply showcased the minimum academic qualifications required by law which is their secondary school results in order to shut out those trying to undermine them.
Findings by Daily Trust revealed that this is unlike what obtained in previous elections when aspirants looked for additional papers to fill in all sorts of certificates in the CF001 as required by INEC in line with Section 31 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), which mandated the electoral empire to publish particulars of all candidates for public scrutiny.
Shortly after the latest publication by INEC, the debate on certificates, rather than issues relating to development, took the centre stage of political discuss. President Buhari
On November 2, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) issued an “attestation certificate” to President Muhammadu Buhari after much furore.
Before the presentation, Buhari had been severely criticised by opposition politicians and activists soon after they scrutinized his particulars and discovered that he said his school certificate was still with the military authorities.
To a certain extent, the announcement by spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in a tweet from his verified handle that WAEC presented an attestation certificate and confirmation of school certificate result to President Buhari “softly” laid to rest, the debate over the matter though some people are still asking WAEC to indicate the exam number of the president, and even questioning the photograph used in the document.
Buhari was actually in the eye of the storm despite the fact that there are over 70 presidential aspirants in the race who have all showcased various kinds of certificates.
“What will the naysayers say next?” Adesina queried.
Buhari had experienced similar criticism ahead of the 2015 general elections when he was an opposition presidential candidate. Bindow’s WAEC controversy The certificate controversy surrounding the candidacy of Adamawa State governor, Muhammadu Jibrilla Bindow, came to public knowledge when the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court ordered an accelerated hearing of a case of certificate forgery filed by a nongovernmental group, Incorporated Trustees of Global Integrity Crusade Network, against the governor.
There are fears that unless Governor Bindow escapes miraculously, he might likely be replaced by the APC ahead of next year’s election to avoid losing the governorship seat to the opposition if the court establishes that he actually forged the result he is claiming.
It is alleged that the governor who attended Government Secondary School Miango in Plateau State, did not sit for the final secondary school examination conducted by WAEC and therefore submitted a fake result to INEC in 2015 before he became governor. Those who took him to court had already obtained and published a result with the serial number the governor is claiming but a different name. Ruling on the application for a motion experte brought before him on October 22, Justice B.O. Quadri granted the prayers of the plaintiff for accelerated hearing as well as leave to serve the originating summons on Governor Jibrilla and WAEC at their respective addresses in Adamawa and Lagos. Those joined as defendants are WAEC, INEC, APC and the Nigeria Police. Back in Yola, an APC youth group loyal to Nuhu Ribadu, the Black Cap Revolution, staged a public protest to the state House of Assembly, demanding a probe of the governor over the alleged certificate scandal.
The group leader, Mustapha Atiku Ribadu, urged the legislators to investigate the forgery allegations against the state’s chief executive to ascertain the truth and do justice to all parties involved.
“We are not saying the governor is guilty, we are simply demanding an investigation into the matter. We’re law abiding citizens who nurture transparency, integrity and good governance. There is an allegation against our governor that the certificate he presented which earned him the leadership is a syndicated forgery, which is synonymous with corruption,” Mustapha said.
“We want Governor Bindow to come out clean and clear. We want him to appear before the state lawmakers to defend the allegation.
“However, should the allegation hold water, Bindow should honourably resign in addition to withdrawing from the 2019 gubernatorial race and face legal case, lest our state be reduced to the republic of certificate forgery forever,” he said. Receiving a letter from the group, the Clerk of the Assembly, Francis Ngangso promised to deliver it to the House leadership for consideration.
However, the Speaker of the House, Kabiru Mijinyawa, dismissed the demand at a plenary, saying the House could not investigate a matter that was already before a court of law.
Meanwhile, an aggrieved APC governorship aspirant, Mahmud Halilu who is younger brother to the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has threatened to drag Jibrilla to court for using a fake WAEC certificate.
Besides the court threats, the controversy became more interesting when INEC released names and credentials of 28 governorship aspirants in the state as voters and critics discovered that Jibrilla who emerged the APC candidate attached a school testimonial to his nomination form rather than a WAEC certificate.
The inclusion of “a mere testimonial” seems to have confused some of his supporters
The controversy led to the presentation of WAEC attestation to President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Alhaji Adebayo Shittu