With the reality dawning on President Goodluck Jonathan that he may lose the February 14 presidential polls, the incumbent and PDP candidate today indicated that he was considering voicing a vote of no confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Evidence of Mr. Jonathan’s jitteriness and his latest strategy emerged in a statement released by Femi Fani-Kayode, the director of media and publicity for the PDP presidential campaign organization. At a news conference held in one of the houses owned in Asokoro, Abuja by Tony Anenih, the PDP board of trustees chairman, Mr. Fani-Kayode said the PDP was not happy the way INEC has been dealing with the issue of academic credentials of opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The electoral body must come clean on this matter; otherwise we will be compelled to pass a no-confidence vote in it,” the president’s publicist said. “If INEC is complicit in the desperate and despicable attempt to extricate General Buhari, without compliance with the provisions of the law, from this lingering embarrassment, we will have no other choice than to harbor the suspicion and fear that the electoral body is already compromised and can lend itself to the ungodly agenda of truncating our victory when our candidate wins.”
Text of a press conference by the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Femi Fani-Kayode on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
CERTIFICATE SAGA: BUHARI SINKS DEEPER WITH LIES!
Yesterday, General Muhammadu Buhari made a shocking and belated disclosure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has his documents. He has not been specific about the documents he is referring to but it is very clear that this is yet another squalid attempt to give the Nigerian people the impression that INEC has his certificate. If this is true, it represents a somersault from his original position which was that INEC has his affidavit and it once again reveals General Buhari for what he is.
With this latest antic, General Buhari is obviously trying to smuggle a newly acquired certificate into INEC through the backdoor. If this is true and if INEC allows such a thing to happen, it would put a serious question mark on its impartiality and credibility. It would mean that it has collected his newly acquired certificate, 40 days outside the stipulation of the Law.
We say this because Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act says INEC “shall within 7 days of the receipt of the receipt of the personal particulars of the candidate, publish same in the constituency…”
Buhari’s words are as follows: “Well, I am not surprised. This is Nigeria. If people are “serious” about this issue, they ought to have listened to the LEGAL ADVISER of INEC” (Is Buhari saying Nigerians are unserious by seeking to know the truth?)
Continuing, he says: “This is the first time, INEC by law has got those documents and they said they have got them. So anybody who has different view should go to court. So let them remain there.”
Those were the words of General Muhammadu Buhari (NOT MOHAMMED BUHARI), the APC presidential candidate.
It appears as if the more our alleged “Mr. Incorruptible” attempts to wash himself clean, the more he digs deeper in the pit of falsehood and perjury.
Now, below are facts already in the public domain, which are incontrovertible:
1. That Muhammadu Buhari (Not Mohammed Buhari) neither submitted nor attached any personal document to form CF001 he filled to INEC.
2. That the INEC form part C specifically stated that PERSONAL (i.e. Certificate) documents should be attached but Buhari did not attach any as of 18th December, 2014, the last day according to INEC guidelines for submission of form CF001.
3. That Buhari was the only candidate whose documents were not published like other presidential candidates as stipulated by law, having not attached any certificate previously.
4. That INEC had acknowledged that fact after publication of particulars of all candidates last year and had not controverted these facts, having itself published the documents attached by all other candidates except Buhari who did not submit any document apart from INEC’s own CF001 form and an affidavit, a court document all of which do not represent PERSONAL DOCUMENT of Buhari.
5.That as at 12 midnight on 30th December, 2014, the expiration of time provided by law for the substitution of candidates, APC did not avail itself that opportunity of substituting the unqualified Buhari for a duly qualified presidential candidate.
6. That Buhari’s only response in his affidavit form in the public domain and displayed by INEC in the 774 LGAs that form the single constituency for presidential contestants was to the effect that “All my academic qualifications and certificates are currently with the secretary of the military Board as at the time of this affidavit dated 24/11/2014.” This affidavit, a very arrogant and whimsical response that his credentials were with the Military Authorities, is in the public domain. If Buhari’s assertion is true, the question is, what is INEC now up to collecting new documents from him through the backdoor, 40 days after the requirement of law?
7. That the military authorities came in the open to clarify that the only document in respect of Buhari’s WASC was an anticipatory letter by his principal that “Buhari would pass” – NOT THAT BUHARI PASSED.
8. That Buhari’s imperial response at a later press conference was that his alma mater, Government College Katsina, would publish his result when available. How come he now says that INEC has collected his document and why should INEC do so after the statutory time limit?
9. That what Government College Katsina published was at best a hand-written result of one MOHAMMED BUHARI and not MUHAMMADU BUHARI or at worse a complete forgery.
Fellow Nigerians, Why should General Muhammadu Buhari refer Nigerians to hear from one legal adviser in INEC? The same INEC that its Director of legal services, one (Mr. Ibrahim Bawa) who, earlier in response to numerous inquiries shortly after on December i8, 2014, told the press that INEC had published all that presidential candidates submitted which in the case of Buhari are just FORM CF001 (no certificate attached) and affidavit which is court papers and not personal document.
It will be interesting to know at which point the affidavit transmuted into additional documents or when additional documents were provided to INEC in line with law as noted above.
What Nigerians Should Note
By Buhari’s latest statement, we want to alert Nigerians to the following questions which the INEC Chair, Attahiru Jega, the so-called legal adviser whom a consultant, duly contracted by INEC, had recommended for redeployment and the APC, must HONESTLY answer:
A. WHEN DID INEC AND THIS LEGAL ADVISER RECEIVE THE DOCUMENTS GIVEN THAT THERE WAS NOTHING ON RECORD FOR HIM AFTER 18TH DECEMBER 2014?
B. WERE THESE MYSTERIOUS DOCUMENTS RECEIVED WITHIN OR AFTER THE TIME FRAME SPECIFIED BY THE ELECTORAL GUIDELINES?
C. Could this be the source of Buhari’s renewed arrogance that anybody not satisfied should go to court?
D. HAS INEC PUBLISHED THESE DOCUMENTS AS REQUIRED BY LAW?
E. Who is in breach of the Electoral Act, Section 31:3- Buhari or Ibrahim Bawa?
The Electoral Body must come clean on this matter; otherwise we will be compelled to pass a no-confidence vote in it. If INEC is complicit in the desperate and despicable attempt to extricate General Buhari, without compliance with the provisions of the law, from this lingering embarrassment, we will have no other choice than to harbor the suspicion and fear that the Electoral Body is already compromised and can lend itself to the ungodly agenda of truncating our victory when our candidate wins.
We also want the election observers to keep watch of the unfolding events regarding General Buhari’s qualification or otherwise. In other countries, it is about obeying the rule of law and not about protecting the political interest of an individual, especially since a free, fair and credible election is not about the day of voting alone but also the processes leading up to it.
I thank you for listening.