Dr Kayode Ajulo, an Abuja based Legal Luminary and former National Secretary of the Labour Party, says President Muhammadu Buhari is qualified by Law to contest the 2019 presidential election.
The Lawyer, who doubles as the founder of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, an NGO, said that for qualifications for elective position, the Nigerian Constitution recognises primary Six Leaving Certificate and Public/Corporate Service Experience as School Certificate Equivalents.
Ajulo told NAN in Lagos on Sunday that the controversy and arguments over the president’s certificate were far fetched as he meets all legal requirements to contest.
“Patently for lack of knowledge of the Constitution, most people do not know what the Constitution provides as equivalents of School Certificates because they are hidden in the Interpretation of the material Section as PART IV, Section 318.
“It states that one does not even require any certificate to be President of Nigeria,” Ajulo said.
He said that the issues of the 2019 elections, whose lives and spaces relied on the constitution to thrive cannot be subjected to pontifications for substance or logic.
“The academic qualifications or suitability of Nigeria’s incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari has been one of the scathing issues that have engulfed the space, particularly the media, wherein the issue has received exponential attention and review.
“In 2015, the same certificate question was raised and was highly controverted. It became a near albatross to the presidential ambition of President Buhari.
“Even now that the president seeks re-election, the ghost of the certificate question that resurrected to hunt itself has continued to generate endless controversies.
“Section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has been cited in support of the contention by proponents of that view to support their position.
“The said Section (Section 131) provides: a person shall be qualified for election to the Office of President if- (d) he has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.
“Section 177 (d) prescribes that candidates contesting election into the office of State Governor must have been educated up to at least School Certificate Level or its equivalent. By virtue of Sections 142 (2) and 187 (2), the provisions on educational qualification of President and State Governors also apply to the Offices of Vice President and Deputy Governors, respectively.
“Sections 65 (2) (a) and 106 (c) of the Constitution prescribe that candidates contesting elections as National Assembly and State House of Assembly members, respectively, must also have been educated to at least School Certificate Level.”