Wednesday, January 28, 2015
BUHARI’S CERTIFICATE SAGA: DON’T MANIPULATE THE JUDICIARY
29th January, 2015
BUHARI’S CERTIFICATE SAGA:
DON’T MANIPULATE THE JUDICIARY
Chukwunweike Okafor , an Abuja-based lawyer and a senior partner at Emerald Attorneys & Solicitors, has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking a special hearing to determine the eligibility or otherwise of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress [APC], Muhammadu Buhari, over his academic qualifications.
While we are aware of the provisions of Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act that allows a person that has reasonable grounds to believe that false information has been given by a candidate in his affidavit or document submitted to INEC, in support of his nomination form, to challenge the eligibility of the candidate, we have good reason to suspect that the complainant is acting under influence.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) suspects foul play in this development. Our suspicion is based on two grounds. The first is the desperate moves being made by the Federal Government to disqualify the APC presidential candidate. Nigerians were told that Buhari had no secondary school certificate until the candidate’s school principal released the result of his Cambridge examination. The principal received several death threats for this.
MURIC is also in possession of a statement allegedly issued by the National Secretary of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Mr. Isaiah Adetola, in which he alleged that the Federal Government was attempting to use the union as a political tool. Mr.
Adetola alleged that JUSUN was manipulated to go on strike in order to prevent the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court from pronouncing on the eligibility of President Jonathan to contest for a second term in office. According to the secretary, the same union is now being used to call off the strike in order to use the courts to scuttle the 2015 polls.
MURIC warns the Federal Government against manipulating the judiciary for the purpose of satisfying its whims and caprices. We also appeal to the judiciary not to allow itself to be used by desperate politicians.
Preparations for the 2015 general elections have gone too far and Nigerians are fully charged for the exercise. Expectations are very high on all sides and any careless intervention can lead to a general commotion.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)