One of the witnesses of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Tuesday, contradicted the president who had earlier claimed his certificates were with the military board.
President Buhari had in 2015 claimed that his certifcates were with the military board on request.
However, one of his witnesses, Major General Paul Tafa, (retd), who claimed to have been enlisted in the Nigerian Army with President Buhari on April 16, 1962, denied that no such order was issued by the military.
Tafa, who made the assertion while answering a question from lead counsel to INEC.
He insisted that the Nigerian Army never asked them to surrender their certificates for whatever reason at any time.
When probed further by Usman to confirm that the army had asked them to submit their certificates in 1962, Tafa insisted, “there was nothing of such during our time”.
He however confirmed English as the official language of communication during their time in the army.
Under cross examination by Atiku and PDP’s lead counsel, Dr Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), the first defence witness said that President Buhari being the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has all military formations under him.
Another witness and current Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Alhaji Abba Kyari, who claimed to have known Buhari for nearly 40 years, told the tribunal that he received and signed for Buhari’s Cambridge WASC Certificate 12 days ago.
Kyari had told the tribunal that Buhari possess credit in five subjects including English Language in his West African School Certificate (WASC) examination conducted by Cambridge University.
But under cross examination by Uzoukwu, Kyari told the tribunal that he personally received and signed for Buhari’s Cambridge University WASC Certificate on July 18, 2019.
The witness further admitted that Buhari in his Curriculum Vitae listed the schools he attended but did not list any of the certifcates obtained.
He also admitted not being Buhari’s classmate at any time and never a member of the army, adding that he was not in possession of any of Buhari’s certificates.
Further cross examined by Atiku’s counsel, Kyari admitted that the Diploma Certificate in Strategic Studies he claimed Buhari possessed in his witness statement was not listed in Buhari’s CV.
While he told the tribunal that Atiku was a Cameroonian by birth, he however admitted he never knew nor met Atiku’s father and grand father.
Another witness, Sule Mai’Adua a retired Civil Servant, admitted that he attended the same secondary school with Buhari and that he took photograph with him while they were in class six.
He also told the tribunal that he wrote WASC examination in 1961 with Buhari and that Buhari has two certifcate.
When asked to read the army’s statement that Buhari’s certifcates were not in his personal file with the military, the witness said he was never in the army and do not know the position of the army, but insisted that Buhari has two certifcates.
Earlier, Buhari through his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, had tendered series of documents including newspaper publication, receipts and certified true copies of WASC certificate, confidential result sheet from Provincial Secondary School and copy of Buhari’s CV duly signed by him as exhibits.
Although, both INEC and All Progressives Congress (APC) did not object to the documents, Atiku and PDP registered their opposition to the admissibility of the documents, but reserved reasons of the objection till the final address stage.
According to them the documents were not pleaded and listed as documents to be tendered, adding that it was shocking to know that the documents were only filed on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.
Meanwhile, the tribunal adjourned till Wednesday, July 31, for continuation of trial.