Monday, January 5, 2015

Only The Courts Can Disqualify Buhari From Contesting In The Elections - INEC

Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared that only the courts have the powers to disqualify a former Head of State and Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), from contesting the 2015 general elections.

INEC said it was yet to receive any petition against President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, Buhari or any other presidential candidates, more than seven days after displaying their particulars.

The Director of Voter Education and Publicity in INEC, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, told Punch that the commission could not go beyond its constitutional powers.

“What do you want INEC to do? INEC cannot disqualify anybody and there is nothing we can do. We don’t have any power to disqualify him.He didn’t bring it (certificates) and so there is nothing INEC can do. INEC cannot disqualify him and cannot remove his name. It is only the courts that can disqualify him, if they feel there is something wrong that he has done. I am not aware of any (petition); none that I am aware of for now. I am not aware of any (petition). I am not aware of any so far,” Osaze-Uzzi said.

Recall that Buhari had in an affidavit, which he deposed to at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, stated that all his academic credentials were with the Secretary, Military Board.

The affidavit deposed to at the FCT High Court and dated November 24, 2014, was stamped and received by INEC on December 18, 2014.

“All my academic qualifications documents as filled in my presidential form, President APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary, Military Board as of the time of this affidavit. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purpose”, Buhari stated.

However, the Nigerian Army had said it would readily release credentials and certificates in its custody to serving and retired when needed.

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