Reports by Thomas IBU, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari opened defense today with presentation of 3 witnesses and documents before the tribunal.
*Presentation of documents*
Chief Wole Olanipekun, the lead counsel for President Muhammadu Buhari first tendered 18 documents, titled: *APC Roadmap to a New Nigeria*
The set of documents were not rejected by INEC and APC but were rejected by counsel to the PDP and Atiku/Obi.
While rejecting the documents, the lead counsel to the PDP and Atiku/Obi, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu described the documents as “strange” and informed the court that the Petitioners will give reasons for their objections in their final written address.
Chief Olanipekun also presented another barge of documents in this following order:
1. Cambridge assessment education certified documents for Muhammadu Buhari, that Buhari passed his exams in 1961 with grade II
2. Cambridge assessment international education certified statements collection receipt number 1
3. Certified True Copy by WAEC, showing the list of candidates that sat for exams in 1961 (Not the certificate of President Buhari)
4. Group photograph of Buhari and others in 1961
5. Print out of EVANS Nigeria News publication of January 22, 2015
6. Certificate of compliance for the group photograph of students of form 6 in 1961
7. Letter commendation from the commander of USA Army to Gen Akinlade, dated June 13, 1980 (Not certificate)
8. Copy of Buhari’s curriculum vitae and signed by him
The set of documents were not rejected by INEC and APC but were vehemently rejected by the PDP and Atiku/Obi
*Note that there was no waec certificate amongst the documents tendered*
All the documents were admitted in evidence by the court and marked as exhibits R118, R19-26
*Presentation of Witnesses*
Witnesses presented by counsel to President Buhari are as follows:
1. General Paul Chabri Tarfa (Buhari’s friend and mate)
2. Suleiman Isa Madua (Buhari’s secondary school classmate) and
3. Abba Kyari (President Buhari’s Chief of Staff)
During cross examination, General Tarfa told the court that he was enlisted into the Nigerian army along with President Buhari in 1962. This statement sharply contradicted the second witness, Buhari’s secondary school mate who told the court that President Buhari joined the army in 1961
He was asked if his certificates (credentials) and that of other applicants were taken away from them during recruitment and he replied that there was nothing like that.
This is also in sharp contrast with President Buhari’s affidavits that his certificates/credentials were with the army.
The second witness, Mr. Suleiman Isa who is a retired civil servant told the court that he was President Buhari’s school mate in secondary school.
- He identified himself and President Buhari in a group photo presented to him but told the court that he does not know if Buhari submitted his credentials to INEC when vying for the office of President of Nigeria in 2015 and 2019.
The PDP and Atiku/Obi’s lead counsel, Dr. Uzoukwu presented a copy of form CF0001, (Form filled by President Buhari to INEC) and he did not list any certificate on the form.
The final witness, President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari told the Court that the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar was Nigeria’s Vice President for 8 years between 1999 to 2007.
He also affirmed that the former Vice President contested for President of Nigeria on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), alongside with President Buhari in 2014
On the evidence submitted to the court (Cambridge endorsements), Abba Kyari told the court that he personally signed and collected the documents on July 18, 2019.
*Note that the documents in question was supposed to be in aid of President Buhari’s certificate, regrettably, it’s not a certificate.*
The court has adjourned to Wednesday July 31, 2019, at 9:30Am
*It’s time to #RescueNigeria*