Ebun-olu Adegboruwa, a lawyer and human rights activist, has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari is qualified to contest the presidential election in 2019.
He said the hues and cries over his eligibility having failed to publicly present his WAEC certificate was needless.
A statement by Adegboruwa on Monday noted that section 131, of the 1999 Constitution provided that a person is qualified for election to the office of President if “he is a citizen of Nigeria; He has attained the age of forty years; He is a member of a political party and he is sponsored by that political party; He has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”
He said: “In my humble view, Gen Buhari has met all the above requirements.
“Under and by virtue of section 318 (1) of the Constitution: “School Certificate or its equivalent” means-
a. a Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, or Grade II Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or
b. education up to Secondary School Certificate level; or
c. Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and-
i. service in the public or private sector in the Federation in any capacity acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for a minimum of ten years, and
ii. attendance at courses and training in such institutions as may be acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for periods totalling up to a minimum of one year, and
iii. the ability to read, write, understand and communicate in the English language to the satisfaction of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and
d. any other qualification acceptable by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
The lawyer said the authors of the Constitution imposed those conditions upon Nigerians and the people have to accept them and live with them until they were changed.
He added: “Anybody who can read, write and communicate in English, who has attended military courses, who has served in the public service of the Federation or even in the Army, is eminently qualified to aspire to be elected as President of Nigeria.
“That is why I have kept referring to the President as Maj-Gen in this statement, to show that he’s qualified, even by virtue of his military rank alone.
“So, it is only a moral burden, for the President, if he claimed to have attended any secondary school, to produce the certificate of that school, to the satisfaction of Nigerians, but that has nothing to do with his legal right to contest election as President.
“The debate is thus unnecessary. Let’s move on to other issues.”