FLASHBACK: Who is lying about Buhari’s WAEC certificate … him or Nigerian Military?

ONCE again, the All Progressive Congress presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has been unable to submit his academic credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in fulfilling requirements for the presidential race.

Just as he said in a court affidavit submitted to the commission in 2014, President Buhari has again sworn to not having custody of his “academic qualification documents”. This was revealed to journalists on Thursday by INEC when it publicised names of 70 political parties which have presented presidential aspirants.

“I am the above named person and the deponent of this affidavit herein. All my academic qualifications documents as filled in my presidential form, APC/001/2015, are currently with the secretary, military board as of the time of presenting this affidavit,” he states in both declarations.

The former military head of state had also said at a press briefing in January 2014 that, though he undertook the examination with the number 8200002, the original copies of his documents had been lost and assumed copies to be with the military.

“But to my utmost surprise I was told that although the records of my certificate are available but there are no copies of my certificates in my file,” he added.

However, the military to which Buhari has constantly passed the buck already denied having custody of the said documents.

In January, 2015, Olajide Laleye, Director of Army Public Relations, announced before journalists in Abuja that the Nigerian Army (N.A.) does not have copies of Buhari’s ordinary level certificates or statement of results, adding that his entry indicated he obtained a West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961.

“Neither the original copy, certified true copy (CTC) nor statement of result of Major-Gen. Mohammadu Buhari’s WASC result is in his personal file,” said Laleye.

“The media hype on the retired Buhari’s credentials as well as numerous requests made by individuals and cooperate bodies to the Nigerian Army on this issue have necessitated that we provide the facts as contained in the retired senior officer’s service records.

“Records available indicate that Buhari applied to join the military as a form six student of the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, on Oct. 18, 1961. His application was duly endorsed by the principal of the school, who also wrote a report on him and recommended him to be suitable for military commission.”

He also added that it is a practice for the N.A. to verify original copies of credentials shortlisted for commissioning into the officers’ cadre of service, but “there is no available record to show that this process was followed in the 1960s.”

The following day, the Nigerian Army released a nine-page document containing a detailed background of Buhari and his documents available to them. Neither his WAEC certificate nor a statement of result was contained in the release.

It however included an endorsement from Buhari’s principal (of the Katsina Provincial Secondary School), his written application for the Royal Nigerian Army’s qualifying examination, a course report from the army, and a record of his WASC result, but not the result itself.

Nigerians on Twitter have reacted to reports that Buhari has maintained his position regarding the whereabouts of his documents.

“If INEC is demanding for WAEC, why can’t Buhari approach WAEC for a reissue?” asked Khaleesi. “Why does he keep telling that BS [bullshit] story about the military?”

Ayeesha Musa tweeted: “How did we get here Nigeria? How did we get this point where @MBuhari was elected @NGRPresident without a WAEC result, in a country who’s total population’s literacy level is at 59.6% (male: 69.2%, female: 49.7% as at January 20, 2018)? How did we get here Nigeria?”



    Here are some of the tweets on the subject:




    'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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