Section 138 (1) (a) of the Electoral Act, provides that: (1) An election may be questioned on any of the following grounds, that is to say (a) ”That the person whose election is questioned was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the elections."
Section 131 (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 provides that: ”A person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if-(d)'he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent”
"School Certificate or its equivalent" Meaning
(b) education up to Secondary School Certificate level; or
(c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and -
(i) Service in the public or private sector acceptable to INEC
(ii) Attendance at courses and training in such institutions acceptable to INEC
(iii) The ability to read, write, understand and communicate in English language; and
(d) any other qualification acceptable by INEC
That every contestant must choose the certificates he is relying on. In the case of Buhari, he chose "PRIMARY SCHOOL CERTIFICATE, WASC, & OFFICER CADET" as his certificates. Therefore, he must swim or sink with his choice.
Buhari Could Not Defend Himself at the Tribunal
President Buhari failed woefully to prove that he possesses the certificates he claimed. When demanded as proof, It was shocking to note that “no provisional certificate, no certified true copy of the certificates, no photocopy of the certificates and in fact, no electronic version of any of the certificates were presented by Buhari throughout the hearing of the petition at the Tribunal.
The variations in the names in most of the documents submitted by President Buhari also speaks volumes. In some documents, it reads, Mohamed Buhari and in another it’s Muhammadu Buhari . Buhari hasn't told the tribunal either in court or in his final written address that he was initially known as Mohamed Buhari, but now known as Mohammadu Buhari. No affidavit to support the name variation.
Also in the same exams, in some documents, Buhari claimed to have 8 subjects and in another 6 subjects. Again, Buhari failed to say or write anything on why 8 in one and 6 in another.
Even the Oluwole Cambridge documents collected by Abba Kyari on 18th July 2019 and presented as exhibits on 30th July 2019 before the tribunal was rejected by WAEC.
Recent Judgement on similar Certificate Issue
In a recent judgement between ADINDU NZE vs. CHRISTAIN NJOKU & ORS (2017), the Appeal Court held thus: ”…when a defendant failed to challenge the evidence of the plaintiff, the defendant would be assumed to have accepted the fact adduced by the Plaintiff."
Again, In NZE vs NPA (1997), the Court of Appeal held thus: ”It is settled law that the court must accept as admitted and proved any unchallenged and uncontroverted piece of evidence."
Buhari has failed to defend his assertive certificate claims, consequently, he is going to sink sorrowfully with his unsubstantiated claim in "the boat of defeat.“ very soon.
In view of the above, President Buhari was not qualified to contest the February 23, 2019 Presidential Election and based on this the Tribunal judges have no choice than to disqualify him and award the seat to the candidate with second highest vote.