Updates: Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Continues Hearing
The Presidential election petition tribunal has continued hearing today in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
09:50 am: The hearing commenced with counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Wole Olanipekun calling the first witness of the day, Mr Oshindeinde Sunday.
Mr Sunday is a deputy registrar in charge of certificates at the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for Nigeria.
His witness statement was tendered before the tribunal.
Sunday was then handed an exhibit which he confirmed to be the one certified by him on behalf of WAEC.
The witness confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari wrote the WASSCE examination alongside 18 other students.
He also answered in the affirmative that Buhari sat for seven subjects and had five credits. He added that Buhari came out with a grade 2 certificate after the exams.
According to him, all of these happened in 1961.
10:06 am: Mr Lateef Fagbemi is the next witness. He said he has been with WAEC for the past 30 years.
While under cross-examination by the APC counsel, the witness said that whoever has the Cambridge International Education Certificate has a WAEC result.
The witness is also cross-examined by the petitioners’ counsel, Mr Levi Uzoukwu.
He was asked to take a very close look at exhibit R19 by Mr Uzoukwu. He was asked to read out the name of the candidate and the witness said MOHAMMED BUHARI.
He was then asked to spell it which he did.
Mister Uzoukwu then asked that the witness be handed the document he brought to court the witness was then asked to spell the name. To which he spelled MOHAMMED BUHARI.
He was then asked if he can confirm that the document with him is not a certificate. The witness said he cannot say so because his signature is not on it.
He was asked if he cannot identify a WAEC result.
The witness said the document does not bear his name or the name of WAEC but bears Cambridge International Education Certificate and not West African Examination Counsel.
He had earlier said that WAEC did the assessment in conjunction with the University of Cambridge.
10:14 am The witness Lateef Fagbemi was also asked if the document he brought from WAEC was a certificate to which he responded that it is a foundation for a certificate.
He later said that it is not President Buhari’s certificate.
Mr Uzoukwu then asked if he had ever worked with the University of Cambridge to which the witness responded that he had never.
The witness was again asked to tell the court the number of subjects listed against the name of Mohamed Buhari and he responded that eight subjects.
He was then given the Cambridge result and asked to tell the court the number of subjects listed, and he responded that six.
He is then asked if he knows the circumstance with which Cambridge will issue a result.
The witness responded no.
When asked if he knew one Dr Iyi Uwadiae the witness said yes and that he is still the registrar of WAEC.
When asked if he is aware that on November 2nd, 2018 he gave President Buhari an attestation certificate. The witness said yes.
Mr Uzoukwu said there is two conditions that an attestation would be given that one is of the certificate is missing. The witness said there are more than two.
He was then handed a document from WAEC’S Twitter handle and the witness said he cannot confirm it.
10:29 am: The next witness is Mohammed Sarki Abba, a senior special assistant to President Buhari.
The witness was asked by the INEC counsel if the President has always addressed the nation in Queens English to which the witness said yes.
The witness was asked how long he has worked for President Buhari and the witness said 30 years.
He was then asked if he has seen President Buhari’s picture before both old and new and the witness said yes.
He was handed exhibit R22 and asked to identify President Buhari and he identified him as sitting from the left-hand side of the picture.
The witness was then asked if he knew what picture it is, the witness said it’s the graduation picture of President Buhari in Kastina.
The witness also said that as a Muslim there is no difference between MOHAMMADU and MOHAMMED, adding that it can be used interchangeably.
10:36 am: Mohammed Sarki Abba was also cross-examined by the petitioner’s counsel. He told the tribunal that he has never served in the Nigerian Army.
He also said he has never been in school with President Buhari.
He was then handed exhibit R25 which is a picture to confirm that it is not a certificate and the witness responded yes.
He was asked if exhibit R26 which is President Buhari’s CV is one of the documents from where he gathered his facts and the witness responded yes.
He was asked to identify President Buhari’s biodata form which he submitted to INEC and told to read it out to which he read ‘attach all educational qualification’
He was then asked if the certificates of President Buhari were attached the witness responded no.
The witness was then discharged.
10:49 am: The next witness is Mohammed Usman-Kwatu.
The witness was a collation agent to President Buhari during the February 23 presidential election.
The witness under cross-examination said he had forgotten the number of votes he said was attributed to the PDP after the election in his ward.
11: 32 am: Counsel to President Buhari asked for an adjournment.
He told the chairman of the tribunal that he will close his case within the time allotted to him.
Tribunal has been adjourned till Thursday, August 1, 2019.
Thank you for staying with us.
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