I didn’t sign Buhari’s Cambridge certificate – WAEC official

A West African Examinations Council official, Osidehinde Adewunmi, on Wednesday, denied signing the Cambridge University Moderated Examination certificates produced by President Muhammadu Buhari and tendered as exhibits before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja.

The two documents earlier admitted as Exhibits R19 and R21on Tuesday were Buhari’s statement of results and the broadsheet for the results of the 18 candidates, including Buhari, who sat for the Cambridge University Assessment International Education examinations in 1961.

Adewunmi, who is WAEC’s Deputy Registrar, School Examinations in Nigeria, who appeared before the tribunal upon a subpoena issued on him by the tribunal at the instance of Buhari, confirmed on Wednesday that he certified the Cambridge University documents but admitted that they were not issued by WAEC.

He testified as Buhari’s fourth defence witness in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging Buhari’s victory in the February 23 poll.

Part of the grounds of the petition seeking the nullification of Buhari’s victory was that the President lacked the educational qualification to contest the polls.

Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, who testified as a defence witness on Tuesday, said he personally signed for and collected the Cambridge University documents on July 18, 2019. But the petitioners contended that Kyari collected the documents months after they filed their petition.

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

Put to him by the APC’s lawyer, the witness, who said he had been working with WAEC for about 30 years, confirmed that the examination was conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with WAEC.

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

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

“He (Buhari) came out with aggregate of 32 and he was awarded Grade 2,” he said.

“Whoever has this (the R21 exhibit) has secondary education.”

When asked by lawyer for the petitioners, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN, if Exhibit R19 was a certificate, Adewunmi said, “I cannot say whether it is a certificate because my signature is not on the document. It is not bearing my name or the name of my organisation.

“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 from the West Africa Examination Council.”

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

“This is not a certificate.”

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

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

Adewunmi said, “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”.

Adewunmi also confirmed that WAEC Registrar, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, issued a WAEC attestation certificate to Buhari on November 2, 2018.

He disagreed with the petitioners’ lawyer that the issuance of an attestation certificate was limited to cases of loss or misplacement.

Another witness, Mohammed Abba, a Senior Special Assistant to the President, who testified on Wednesday as the fifth defence witness, told the tribunal that Buhari was educated.

He identified Buhari in a group photograph with those said to be the President’s Class 6 mates of 1961.

He said he had known Buhari for 30 years.

In his bid to clear doubts as to why “Mohamed” appeared on the Cambridge credentials instead of “Muhammad”, Fagbemi asked the witness whose first name incidentally is “Mohammed” to offer clarifications.

The witness said, “There is no difference between Mohamed and Muhammad. Hausa will call it Muhammadu, Yoruba will call it Momodu.”

Under cross-examination by Uzoukwu, Abba admitted that “no certificate was listed, mentioned or attached to Buhari’s curriculum vitae personally signed by the President.

He also agreed that the photographs in which he identified Buhari was not a certificate.

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