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Buhari’s witness contradicts the president, say certificates not collected from army recruits

  • Legal fireworks today at the Presidential Election Tribunal
  • Buhari’s witness said there was no such thing as Collection of certificates from army recruits
  • He refused to read his depositions claiming that he doesn’t have his eyes glasses

President Muhammadu Buhari has opened his defence against the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

But the proceedings turned to drama when Buhari’s witness at the Presidential Election Tribunal denied today that his school certificate was collected from him upon enrolling int the Nigeria armed forces.

Major General Paul Tarfa confirmed he was the course mate of the President, but contrary to repeated claims by President Buhari that his WAEC certificate is with the Nigeria Army, he testified that no personnel enlisted by the Army handed over their certificates to the military.

The President opened his case on Tuesday at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, where the PDP and the former vice president are challenging his victory in the February 23 poll.

His counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Wole Olanipekun, opened the case by tendering some documents including 16 true certified copies of newspaper publications.

The senior lawyer also presented a 17th document which is titled ‘APC A New Nigeria’.

Recall that President Buhari had claimed that his certificate was collected when he joined the army.

So when President Buhari’s lawyers called their first witness during examination-in-chief, the witness was asked:

Question: You joined the army with Buhari

– Yes
When you joined the army, your certificate was collected from you

– NO, that never happened!

The five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba had, on Monday, asked Buhari’s legal team to open their defence on Tuesday after the Independent National Electoral Commission said it would not call any witness in the case.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), tendered a number of documents, including the ones he described as certified true copies of certificates and results of Cambridge examinations which Buhari took in 1961.

According to Olanipekun, the documents included certified true copies of Cambridge Assessment International Education School Certificate for Second Division Grade II in 1961; and the Cambridge Assessment for lectures received by Buhari.

They also included the certified true copies of confidential result sheet of University of Cambridge WASC 1961 for Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, showing the school and candidates who took the examinations in 1961.

Olanipekun also tendered a group photo of Katsina Provincial School pupils, including Buhari, while graduating in 1961; and the printout of a news report published on January 22, 2015 in respect of that set.

Also tendered was what was described as a Commandant of the United States Army War College letter dated June 3, 1980 addressed to Gen. Akinrinade in commendation of then Col. Buhari and a copy of Buhari’s curriculum vitae signed by him.

Buhari’s lawyer also tendered some newspapers.

He tendered 29 documents in all.

The petitioners’ lawyer, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, objected to the admissibility of documents which he described as strange and not listed or pleaded earlier in the defence he filed in response to the petition.

Uzoukwu said he would give the full details of their objection in client’s final written address.

But lawyers representing INEC, Yunus Usman (SAN); and APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had no objection to the documents.

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