A senior advocate of Nigeria and spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign, Festus Keyamo said a certificate of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) is not a criterion to contest an election and emerge Nigeria president or governor in any state in the country.
“By the definition of “School Certificate or its equivalent” in section 318 of the 1999 Constitution. You don’t need a WAEC certificate to become President or Governor,” Keyamo said in a tweet while reacting to the Osun State governorship election scenario.
The Osun State governorship election has been a subject of national discussion since its supposed conclusion in September 2018.
The major contenders for the election were Isiaka Oyetola of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Ademola Adeleke.
Oyetola, who polled 255,505 votes was declared the winner by INEC, while Adeleke of the PDP polled 255,023 votes.
Unsatisfied with INEC’s declaration, Adeleke and the PDP challenged the result in court and was declared the winner at the election tribunal.
Fresh controversy arose over Adeleke’s eligibility to contest the election after he was accused to have forged his WAEC certificate.
However, Keyamo said Adeleke did not need to “forge” his WAEC certificate to contest the office of a governor because WAEC certificate is not needed to contest the office of a governor in Nigeria.
“Let me end my free lecture series by saying that the crux of the matter is that if you don’t have a WAEC certificate, there’s no need to go ahead & forge one in a bid to be Governor or President,” Keyamo said.
“You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in Osun Case Scenario.”
“Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines “School Certificate or its equivalent” to mean primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to just speak, write, understand and communicate in English language to the satisfaction of INEC. No WAEC certificate is needed,” Keyamo said.
On the academic requirement of the Office of Nigeria President, section 139 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution says person seeking the position must “have been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”