The Peoples Democratic Party –PDP says the Independent National Electoral Commission –INEC, is engaging in acts that could sabotage Nigeria’s democratic experience.
PDP alleged on Saturday that INEC was covering up All Progressives Congress –APC, presidential candidate in next month’s elections Gen. Muhammadu Buhari over allegations that the former Head of State does not have basic requirement to contest the election.
The ruling party said Buhhari’s inability to present minimum requirement such as leaving school certificate questions the APC’ candidate’s moral and other credentials for pursuing the position.
The party said: The current emerging shocking disclosures bring to the fore how and what qualifications were used to recruit him into the military without a minimum school leaving certificate, where he rose to the rank of a General and even became the head of state through a military coup that truncated a democratically-elected government in 1983.’’
PDP quoted section 131 (d) of the Nigerian constitution which orders all candidates to show proof of education up to a minimum standard not below school certificate or its equivalent.
“But from what INEC has published, Buhari has not submitted any personal particular of minimum school leaving certificate for the 2015 election and shockingly, from INEC documents displayed in all constituencies, he also did not submit anything in 2011 and never referred the umpire then to the secretary of the Military Board as well as previous elections he contested as evidenced in all available INEC records until this current discovery,’’ the party said.
“If the constitution did not require proof, it would not specify a minimum. To strengthen this claim, the extant Electoral Act directs that such proof must be sworn to by each candidate at a court.
The party further questioned INEC on the special treatment being given Gen. Buhari contrary to the provisions of the law.
“It must be stated that INEC erred in law by publishing the name of a candidate without receiving the personal particulars of the candidate within seven days of receiving his nomination forms as indicated in section 31 (3).
“This is, indeed, a tragedy illustrating what Nigeria has become; that an individual is so powerful that the law has to be ignored to accommodate him. Certainly, INEC-printed nomination forms or High Court affidavits are in no way or by any stretch of definition, the same as personal particulars, such as school leaving certificate.”