By Kayode Adeoti and Mike Adeyemi
Divergent views have continued to trail the attestation certificate issued to President Muhammadu Buhari by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), last week.
Speaking in separate interviews, prominent legal practitioners in Ilorin and an educationist offered unrelated opinions on the legality of the certificate.
To Barr. Kehinde Kolawole Eleja SAN, the development happening at this time is quite unusual.
“Though I’ve not really studied the issue but I must say, it is not usual leaving one with much to desire,” he said.
On his part, a Professor of Law at the University of Ilorin, Ibrahim Abikan maintained that there is nothing wrong with the President being issued the certificate saying WAEC being the custodian of the certificate has the legal right to issue it to whoever demands.
“WAEC is the custodian of examination certificate it conducted. If a person loses his or her certificate, a copy is always with the commission and as far as the law is concerned, WAEC has the power to release it on demand.
“I learnt it was not WAEC that conducted the exam for the President, it inherited the commission but it is still the custodian of the exam certificate. An examination body may have changed name over the years, but nothing changes about its operations. I don’t see any problem in that unless someone wants to challenge the veracity of the certificate,” he stressed.
In his response, the Provost, Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, Dr. Abdulraheem Yusuf corroborated the Unilorin Don, saying the development is normal and legal.
He said, “Attestation certificate to confirm or affirm that a student attended a college is normal and legal, not statement of result.”
…PDP scribe, Sowore, others react
Meanwhile in separate tweets at the weekend, several personalities in the country have added their voice to the raging debate.
The Publisher of Sahara Reporters and 2019 Presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) in a tweet, yesterday wrote; “Nebulous Certificate” is Not School Certificate! @waecnigeria had no business with @MBuhari’s Certificate. @waecnigeria ought to understand the @Cambridge_Uni is still waiting on @MBuhari to directly “pick up” his results or authorize someone to do so since 2015.”
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan (@officialKolaO) wrote; “ The season film @MBuhari certificate saga has entered Part 2.
It is a labyrinth and every scene a comedy of errors. In 1962, a year after @MBuhari left school, WASC was still examined in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.”
Similarly, Grow Nigeria (@grownigeria_ng) tweeted; “This is bad. It appears that the Presidency lied about @Mbuhari’s approach to WAEC. It doesn’t look good for the Government to keep lying to Nigerians.
For another social media user, Kelvin Odanz @Kelvin_Odanz, he wrote; “It appears the attestation certificate given to Buhari was not authorised. WAEC officials are currently in a marathon meeting over the issue and they’re considering suspending Nigeria from the examination council.
Buhari is a saboteur. He’d destroy Nigeria before 2019.”
In his reaction, Dr EFFA @effalixumab tweeted; “@fkeyamo said the missing certificate number on Buhari’s forged certificate is a “Clerical Error,” how did this man become a SAN?”
On his part, chikanwankwo @chikanwankwo1 wrote; Why are we engrossed about certificate or no certificate? Buhari didn’t hang on himself the integrity tag, SOME Nigerians did.
Bottom line, is that a man who hired more than 20 SAN’S to defend A CERTIFICATE.
For jjUMOH @umohjoe, he tweeted; “Remind me again how many SAN defended Buhari on his no WAEC saga of 2015? It’s time again. Buhari does not have even the so called “NEPA bill certificate.”
Similarly, Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D @farooqkperogi wrote; “This is how the Cambridge University Local Examinations Syndicate-administered WAEC school certificate that Buhari said he had in 1961 looks like. If Buhari wants it, he should apply to Cambridge Assessment, the successor to CULES, and he will get his certificate within 28 days.
It’s now painfully obvious that Buhari perjured himself when he claimed in many INEC forms that he had a school certificate. Turns out he only sat for a mock WASC exam but never took the official WASC exam. If Naija were a nation of laws, he should have been impeached and jailed.”
Recall that WAEC had said the examination record of President Buhari has always been with the council, only that the Buhari had not requested for it officially, until last week.
The Registrar of the examination body, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, led a delegation from WAEC, including its Head of National Office, Nigeria, to the State House in Abuja to present an attestation of result to the president.