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UPDATE: WAEC official disowns Buhari’s Cambridge credentials

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A West African Examination Council official, Osidehinde Adewunmi, on Wednesday, disowned the Cambridge University’s Moderated International Examination credentials produced by President Muhammadu Buhari and tendered as exhibits before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

The two documents earlier admitted as Exhibits 19 and 21 were Buhari’s statement of results and the broadsheet for the results of the 18 candidates who sat for the examinations in 1961.

The Deputy Registrar, School Examinations in Nigeria, of WAEC, who appeared before the tribunal on a subpoena, testified before the five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba, as Buhari’s fourth defence witness on Wednesday.

He appeared in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging Buhari’s victory at the February 23, 2019 poll.

Part of the grounds of the petition was that Buhari lacked the educational qualification to contest the election.

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When cross-examined by the counsel for the All Progressives Congress, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Adewunmi said he, as a WAEC official, certified one of the documents bearing the name of the University of Cambridge Moderated Examination earlier tendered as Exhibit marked R21.

The witness, who said he had been working with WAEC for about 30 years, told the tribunal that the examination was conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with WAEC.

He confirmed that 18 persons sat for the examinations in 1961, adding that Buhari was listed as number two on the list of candidates for the examination.

He confirmed that Buhari sat for eight subjects and had five credits in the examination – Oral English, C5; History, A3; Geography, C6; Hausa, C5; and Health Science, C6.

“He came out with aggregate of 32 and he was awarded Grade 2,” he confirmed.

When asked, he confirmed that “whoever has this (the R21 exhibit) has secondary education”.

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Under cross-examination by the petitioners’ lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), Adewunmi was asked if Exhibit R19 was a certificate, he said, “I cannot say whether it is a certificate because my signature is not on the certificate. It is not bearing my name or the name of my organisation.”

Asked again, the witness said, “This document is bearing the name of Cambridge University Assessment International Education.”

Asked if the document was issued by WAEC, he said, “It is not a document from the West Africa Examination Council.”

Asked about Exhibit R21, he said, “This is the foundation, the primary foundation for issuance of a certificate.”

The witness was also asked if the document was a certificate.

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“This is not a certificate,” the witness answered.

When asked, he also said, “I have never worked with the University of Cambridge.”

In his bid to point out contradictions in the two documents, the petitioners’ lawyers asked the witness to compare the number of subjects listed against Buhari in them.

The witness confirmed that in R21, “The number of subjects listed against the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is eight”, and in R19 “six subjects”.

He also confirmed that the first name on the two documents was “Mohamed” and as against the President’s “Muhammad”.

He also confirmed that WAEC registrar, Dr. Iyi Uwadae, issued a WAEC attestation certificate to Buhari on November 2, 2018.

He disagreed with the petitioners’ lawyer that issuance of an attestation certificate was not limited to cases of loss or misplacement.

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FG’s circular warning officials against leaking documents gets leaked

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The Head of Service of the Federation, HoS, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, has written to the top officials of the Federal Government against leaking official documents, just as the circular conveying the warning was also leaked to the media.

The HoS, in a circular, numbered HCSF/109/S.1/120 and dated May 22, 2020, stated that leading official documents embarrasses the government, threatening those caught involved in the act with dismissal from service.

The circular, sighted by Tribune, was addressed to Chief of Staff to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff to President, Office of the Vice President, Ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Permanent Secretaries, and Service Chiefs/Inspector-General of Police.

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Others government functionaries who received the circular include Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Chairman, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, and Chairman. National Population Commission.

The rest recipients of the circular are Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Clerk of the National Assembly, Secretary, National Judicial Council, Auditor-General for the Federation, Surveyor-General of the Federation, Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria, and Directors-General and Chief Executives of Parastatals/Agencies.

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Titled: “Unauthorized circulation of official documents/information on social media,” the circular pointed out that even documents which had been minuted upon were illegally released, describing the action as unfortunate.

It stated:

The attention of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation has been drawn to the recent unfortunate unauthorised disclosure of official documents on the social media.

“In some cases, official documents that have been minuted on, are also leaked. This irresponsible and reckless action is an act of serious misconduct, with a penalty of dismissal from service, as provided for in Public Service Rules Nos. 030401 and 030402.

“The ugly development is embarrassing to the government and therefore, not acceptable. Any public officer caught engaging in this act of serious misconduct, will be severely dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Rules.

“Permanent Secretaries are to draw the attention of all their staff to the contents of this circular and the consequences of breaking the rules.”

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JUST IN: Wike compensates victims, deceased families of 2019 elections

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Emergency rule: Some citizens plan to cause a breakdown of law and order in River state, says govt

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has compensated the victims and the deceased families of the 2019 general elections in the Abonema area of the state.

Speaking at a town hall meeting on Monday in Abonema with the victims, deceased families, and the council of chiefs, Wike said a sum of N450m released to the affected Ijaw communities.

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The governor added that the state government will commence the payment of the compensation from Wednesday, which will be sent to their account numbers.

It was gathered that 37 families who were affected will get N9m compensation each.

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JUST IN: Chris Ngige speaks on running for President in 2023

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said he reserves the right to contest for any elective posts in 2023.

Mr Ngige said this while debunking reports that he was interested in contesting for the Anambra governorship election scheduled for 2021.

The former Anambra state Governor spoke in his hometown of Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.

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He, however, noted that he is not interested in becoming governor since he is on a national assignment as Minister.

Ngige said:

“Yes, there have been speculations that I am eyeing the governorship of Anambra State. They have written about it in a lot of media. I am a politician. They have the right to speculate on my next move. My next move is very vast.

“Elections will come in 2023, I have a right to vie for any position. I can vie for Senate.

“I can vie for president if I so wish. Election will be coming in Anambra State, latest November 2021 to elect a successor to Obiano. I am not disqualified. I have a right to say I can run.

“I don’t have interest for now in Anambra governorship because I am on a national assignment.”

 

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