Atiku Replies APC Over Claims He Is Not Nigerian
Atiku Abubakar

Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for saying his academic certificates are with the Nigerian Army.

Atiku, who ran under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost to Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election.

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But he has since rejected the outcome of the poll, challenging it at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

Replying to Buhari’s response to the petition filed before the tribunal, Atiku and his party said if it was true that the certificates existed, Buhari as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces could order the army to produce them.

Atiku said he attached his academic certificates to the Form CF001 he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a joint petition filed on March 18, the former vice president and his party urged the tribunal to declare them the authentic winner of the February 23 election, insisting Buhari did not possess the educational qualifications he claimed to have in his INEC Form CF001.

In further response to paragraph 381(iv) of the 2nd respondent’s reply, aver that the petitioners have no knowledge of any certificates or alleged qualifications issued to the 2nd respondent (Buhari), but contend that 2nd respondent falsely represented that his certificates are in the custody of the Nigerian Army when the 2nd respondent by his own admission is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” the joint reply filed by Atiku and the PDP read in part.

“In further response to paragraph 381(iv) of the 2nd respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the 2nd respondent as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria could easily order the Army Secretary to produce the certificates allegedly submitted if they actually exist.

“Contrary to paragraph 381(i-iv) of the 2nd respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the 2nd respondent does not possess the educational qualification he claimed to have in his INEC Form CF001 submitted to the 1st respondent (INEC) having not been attached as required.”

They also described Buhari’s claim of being head and shoulders above Atiku as “erroneous”.

Responding to Buhari’s allegation that Atiku didn’t have the statutory educational qualifications to contest the polls, the petitioners stated that the ex-VP attached his educational qualifications to his Form CF001 submitted to INEC.