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Buhari can rule without certificate – Supreme court

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The Supreme Court on Friday insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the February 23 presidential election.

The court also held that neither the constitution nor the Electoral Act required the respondent (Buhari) to attach copies of his certificates to INEC nomination form CF 001.

It said the issue of his qualification, which was the main objection in the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his party was a constitutional issue.

The apex court stated this in its explanation of the reasons for its October 30 judgment which dismissed Atiku Abubakar and PDP’s appeal that challenged the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

In a unanimous judgment prepared by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad but read by Justice John Okoro, the Supreme Court said the qualifications for a person seeking to contest the position of the president of Nigeria were clearly stated in Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

The court said President Buhari met the requirements stipulated in Section 131 (d) of the constitution that provides that an aspirant to the position of President should be educated to secondary school level or primary six and have served in the public service for 10 years and attended training, with ability to read and write in English Language and any other qualifications acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The court said Buhari’s primary school certificate, certified copy of his Cambridge certificate, certified copy of his West African School Certificate (WASC), his group photograph of Katsina Secondary School and commendation letter from the Commandant of United States War College for the then Major Muhammadu Buhari as well as his long service in public service, two years of which he served as military Head of State and four years as President had sufficed for the qualification requirement.

According to the apex court, an aspirant who possesses any of the qualifications stipulated in the section qualifies

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