In order to run for president on February 25, 2023, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) nominee, has claimed that President Bola Tinubu falsified his academic credentials.
Atiku said that Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the time, lacked the necessary qualifications to run in the presidential election scheduled for February 2023.
This was said by the former vice president on Monday during a press conference in the state capital of Abuja.
He said: “It is about the reputation of Nigeria and Nigerians in the eyes of the world. We showed incontrovertible evidence that Bola A. Tinubu was not qualified to contest the Presidential Election because he forged the qualifying academic certificate, which he submitted to INEC. In fact, a simple check of Tinubu’s past records in its possession would have shown INEC that Tinubu broke the law and should not have been allowed to contest the election.”
He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Supreme Court encouraged perjury, identity theft, impersonation, certificate fabrication, and illegality.
Atiku emphasised that the ruling of the supreme court was final and left much to be desired, saying that democracy is on life support when people lose faith in the democratic process.
He said: “A situation where a candidate submits contradictory credentials to INEC in different election cycles, and the electoral umpire accepts them without question points to gross negligence, at best, or collusion to break the law by the leadership of the INEC, at worst. The submission of contradictory qualifying documents by a candidate as well as those found to be forged or falsified, should disqualify a candidate even if the falsification or forgery is discovered after the person has been sworn into office.
“The burden of proving that a document submitted to INEC is forged should not be on the opposing candidates in the election. It is never the responsibility of an applicant for a job to prove that the person who eventually got the job did so with forged documents.
“In addition to these proposed constitutional amendments, the Electoral Act should be amended to provide that, except where they explicitly violate the Constitution and other laws, the rules and procedures laid down by the electoral umpire and made public for the benefit of the contestants and the voters will be treated as sacrosanct by the courts in deciding on election disputes.”
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