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2023: Tinubu, Masari certificate controversies unsettle APC

• Screening Committee: We cleared ex-Lagos gov, others
with affidavits

• NWC keeps mum

 

In the last two weeks, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published the names of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his ‘placeholder’ running mate, Alhaji Kabir Ibrahim Masari, with controversies in their school certificates. But the National Leadership of the party has kept mute over the issue.

 

The revelation by INEC that both the APC Presidential candidate and his running mate did not include, in their forms their academic certificates but affidavit and explanatory notes has attracted controversies with opposition parties hitting on the ruling party. However, the National leadership of the APC was yet to react to the issue or the submission made to the Electoral Body.

 

 

A member of the National  Working Committee (NWC), who spoke unofficially, said it is in the place of the National Organizing Secretary, Alhaji Suleiman Arungun, to brief the NWC on what was submitted to INEC.

 

According to INEC, what was submitted by the APC Presidential candidate in place of certificate was a not explaining that he did not have Primary and Secondary school certificates and that his Degree certificate was taken by the Military, when his house was raided during democratic struggle.

 

The electoral body also reported that his running mate submitted an affidavit from the Supreme Court, starting that his certificates were lost in transit within Abuja.

Masari’s sworn affidavit deposed to at the Supreme Court, Abuja, read in part, “That sometime in January 2021, while on transit within Wuse Area, FCT-Abuja, I discovered that my original Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of Plot, No. KT 17522, GRA, Katsina, Katsina State; Certificate of Kaduna State Development Centre from 1994 – 1995; Grade II Certificate from Katsina Teachers’ College (KTC) from 1978- 1983 and First Leaving School Certificate, issued by Masari Primary, Katsina State, from 1972-1978, got lost.”

Masari added that all efforts to trace the documents proved abortive, hence, the affidavit. However, a party source has expressed regrets that the National Leadership of the APC has not reacted to the certificates controversies of its Presidential candidate.

According to the source, they are taking for granted that they are in government and probably control the judiciary, therefore do not think anything can go wrong. The NWC member, who spoke unofficially on the issue, said that they have not discussed it.

According to the NWC member, it is the National Organizing Secretary, Alhaji Suleiman Arungun, who is position to know what was submitted to INEC. The source said: “This is an issue that has been in the front burner in the past. Nobody in the working commit-      tee can make any comment about it anyhow.

 

“We are believing that it would be resolved in our favour should anybody go to court. But I tell you also that is a concern to us.”

Also reacting to the certificate issue, a member of the screening committee said they saw the situation. The committee member went on to say that the APC Presidential candidate was not the only one without certificates among the aspirants.

 

When the committee member was asked if they didn’t notice the absence of the certificates in their document, he said: “You need to ask them.

 

That is there problem. We screened them. We were satisfied. That is what one can say for now. “When people submit papers and equivalent and all sorts of affidavits, you wouldn’t say you would not recognize them. That is part of the problem.

 

One of the Aspirants didn’t have a single original paper. All he had were affidavits and reports and you cannot say you would not recognize the sworn declarations.”

 

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