News Beyond Boundaries

Buhari’s academic qualification not ‘pre-election matter’ – Tribunal

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The Presidential Election Tribunal on Wednesday dismissed the argument by INEC suggesting that the complaints by the PDP against President Muhammadu Buhari’s academic qualification for the 2019 election were a pre-election matter.

The Independent National Electoral Commission said the PDP’s demand should only be regarded as a pre-election matter.

The Peoples Democratic Party’s argument is that President Buhari did not meet the minimum educational requirements for emerging as a candidate for the election.

This is among several issues raised by the petitioners to challenge Mr Buhari’s re-election.

INEC’s application that the petition regarding qualification is struck off was supported by a five-paragraph affidavit.

The head of the tribunal, Mr Mohammed, while addressing the issues ruled that Section 138 (1) (a) of the Electoral Act allows for the filing of the petition relating to an allegation of false information.

The tribunal held that it has within its powers to entertain the application and determine the details contained in the petition.

“I am of the view that the contents of section 138 (1) do not fall in the category of a pre-election matter,” he said.

“Although the issue relates to a matter that happened before the election, the issues relate to vital points that cannot be relegated just to a pre-election matter.”

The tribunal dismissed the application, with all other members of the panel not objecting to the lead ruling.

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