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Group faults “Cambridge report” on Buhari’s Certificate

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By Omeiza Ajayi

Buhari: Abuja based governance accountability group, Global Initiative for Good Governance in Nigeria has faulted a report in a section of the media quoting a “Cambridge source” as verifying the authenticity of the West African School Certificate WASC of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari, South African, NLC
President Muhammadu Buhari
The president’s senior school certificate has been a subject of intense debate and even litigation, but a news report last week said an unnamed source at the Cambridge University had purportedly told a team from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP who were on a verification visit that the president’s certificate is authentic.
However, in a statement issued Monday in Abuja, Director General of the Global Initiative for Good Governance in Nigeria, Chief Sanmi Omolabi noted that “investigation into the purported story that the Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential candidate had sent agents to Cambridge in the United Kingdom to verify the authenticity of the WASC certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari and that the agents were shocked when the certificate was verified has turned out to be false”.
The group contended that contrary to the report, which quoted a “Cambridge Source” as having authenticated the President’s certificate, no such source exists and no such authentication was made.
“Our findings revealed that Cambridge University and its affiliates do not authenticate through sources, but through documentary evidence”.
The group added that it is not possible to get a source in Cambridge to speak about a matter of such immense political significance, adding that the report was possibly planted in the media to try to sway the opinion of Nigerians and the Presidential Election Tribunal on the matter.

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“A person familiar with the issues at hand said ‘Cambridge will never do that. The report is nothing but brown envelope journalism. They have no source. They just made up a story. Cambridge is perhaps the top examining body in the world. They will not sully their reputation and none of their staff will act as a source for a matter like that.’
“Further investigation established that the issue of the veracity or otherwise of the President’s certificate continues to generate anxiety in the camp of the All Progressives Congress, especially as a 2015 Channels TV video was recently unearthed in which the incumbent Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, can be heard saying ’53 years after he left secondary school, I think we should pardon him. He does not even know where he has kept his certificate’.
“The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is currently sitting in Abuja and one of the most contentious issues is whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari is qualified to run for Office of the President of Nigeria, based on his educational qualifications. Multiple pieces of evidence, both oral and documentary, were tendered at the tribunal with some being contradictory.
“For instance, whereas in the past, President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that his certificates were with the Nigerian Army, a contemporary and friend of his from the army, Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa (retd), had told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that such claims were false and the army neither asked for or retained the school certificates of enlisted men or recruits. Gen. Tarfa’s testimony corroborated a 2015 press conference by the Nigerian Army stating that they were not in possession of then-candidate Buhari’s certificate”.

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