SENIOR Advocate of Nigeria, Festus Keyamo, says the constitutional requirement for one to be able to run for the office of the President or a governor in Nigeria is evidence of primary school completion, not secondary school.
Keyamo made this known in a tweet on Monday having expressed the same opinion during an interview with Channels Television.
In addition to having completed primary school, Keyamo said one must be able to communicate fairly well in English Language.
“Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines “School Certificate or its equivalent” to mean primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to just speak, write, understand and communicate in English language to the satisfaction of INEC. No WAEC certificate is needed,” Keyamo tweeted.
“By the definition of “School Certificate or its equivalent” in section 318 of the 1999 constitution, you don’t need a WAEC certificate to become President or Governor, but if you present a FORGED WAEC or other certificate to INEC for any office you will be disqualified.”
Keyamo’s claims are factual. Section 318 of the 1999 constitution as amended, talks about “interpretation, citation and commencement”. Part of that section defined “School Certificate or its equivalent” to mean the following:
a) A Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, or Grade II Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate;
b) education up to Secondary School Certificate level
c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent” among other things.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Keyamo’s principal, is currently enmeshed in a certificate scandal having been accused by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party of not possessing a secondary school certificate.
In his presidential candidate’s form submitted to INEC, Buhari claimed that all his credentials are in the possession of the Nigerian Army.
After the 2015 election, some legal practitioners filed a lawsuit challenging Buhari’s certificate issue, but the matter was later struck out. Presently, Buhari’s certificate is also one of the points the PDP and its presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, is relying on to challenge Buhari’s electoral victory in the just concluded general election.
In November 2018, WAEC confirmed that Buhari sat for the secondary school leaving certificate at the time and issued him a replacement certificate.
Elsewhere, a court in Abuja recently nullified the candidacy of Ademola Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the Osun State gubernatorial election held in October 2018. The court found Adeleke guilty of submitting a fake WAEC certificate to INEC before the election.