The spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, said an aspirant does not need to have a West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate to become a president or governor in the country.
Mr Keyamo disclosed this in a tweet posted on his verified Twitter handle, @fkeyamo on Monday.
According to him, ”one does not need a WAEC certificate to become a president as long as the person has occupied a public office for a reasonable length of time”.
”There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of President. If you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria,” Mr Keyamo said.
One of the hurdles President Muhammadu Buhari had to surmount during his campaign for a second term was the allegation that he did not possess a WAEC certificate.
The matter was later ‘laid to rest’ when officials of the examination body eventually came to the presidential villa to ‘present’ an attestation that he (Buhari) indeed sat for the examination.
Mr Buhari will be commencing his second term from May 29.
The lawyer also gave the constitutional requirements that makes one eligible to become a president in the country.
He said, the 1999 Constitution (amended) only requires a primary 6 School Leaving Certificate for one to become a president.
He said the ability to communicate in the English Language is also required by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
PREMIUM TIMES reported how INEC said it was satisfied by the academic documents submitted by President Buhari while running for office.
”Yes. Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ to mean primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to speak, write, understand and communicate in the English language to the satisfaction of INEC. No WAEC certificate is needed,” Mr Keyamo explained.
The advocate also spoke on the case of Osun State candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke, who is also facing allegations of forgery of WAEC certificate.
”By the definition of ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ in section 318 of the 1999 const, you don’t need a WAEC certificate to become President or Governor, but if you present a FORGED WAEC or another certificate to INEC for any office, you will be disqualified. #OsunStateScenario
”Forgery occurs when the supposed author of a document denies ever making it or denies its authenticity. WAEC has confirmed the authenticity of PMB’s certificate by issuing an attestation of it. Case closed. In #OsunCaseScenario WAEC has denied authenticity. See the difference?
”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. You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in #OsunCaseScenario,” he said.