As the 2023 general elections approaches, more presidential and vice-presidential candidates in Nigeria have informed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that they can no longer find their academic certificates.
According to Tribune, documents displayed by INEC showed that apart from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kabiru Masari, whose claim of loss of certificates has continued to generate interests across the country, the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, also said his secondary school certificate is lost.
Another presidential candidate who claimed to have lost all his certificates is Prince Abdul Malik Ado Ibrahim of the Young People’s Party (YPP) while the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, submitted an affidavit informing INEC that he changed his name from Siddiq Abubakar as it appears on his West African School Certificate, to Atiku Abubakar.
The presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Sani Yabagi, also submitted an affidavit saying that the name on his degree and West African School Certificate is different from what he currently bears.
Tribune reports that the Delta State governor and vice presidential candidate of the PDP, in a sworn affidavit attached to his particulars disclosed to INEC that his West African School Certificate obtained in 1974 was missing.
The affidavit of loss of original certificate, obtained from the High Court of Justice, Delta State, in the Asaba Judicial Division on October 3, 2006 reads in part: “I, Ifeanyichukwu Arthur Okowa, adult, male, Christian, medical doctor and Nigerian citizen of House No. 4, Commissioners’ Quarters, Asaba, Delta State, do hereby make oath and state as follows:
“That I personally enrolled and sat for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) West African School Certificate (WASC) examinations in the year 1974 at Edo College, Benin City, in now Edo State.
“That I passed the said examinations and was subsequently issued the said certificate therefore. “That the original of the said certificate issued to me is now missing, lost and cannot be found.”
Also, in the affidavit sworn to at the Federal High Court of Justice, Maitama, Abuja, on June 3, 2022, the YPP presidential candidate disclosed that on July 17, 2021, while in transit from Kaduna to Abuja, he lost certain documents which included “original BSc certificate issued by American College of Los Angeles, dated 1988; High School Diploma issued to me by Langley High, Norwich, UK dated 1979 and official degree transcript.
“Also lost was expired international passport issued by Nigeria Immigration Service. “That all efforts made to trace the said documents have proved abortive.”
Ado Ibrahim also attached a Police Entry signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mohammed Hulli, Judges Protection Unit, FCT, High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on the lost documents dated June 6, 2022.
Also, the former vice president and presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku, in his particulars, is silent on the primary school he attended.
He, however, disclosed his GCE results obtained in 1965 and a Higher Certificate (Master’s degree) obtained in 2021.
Further checks revealed that the West African/General Certificate awarded by WAEC and the University of Cambridge, which was obtained from Adamawa Provincial School, Yola, carried the name ‘Siddiq Abubakar’.
The former nation’s number two man also attached a sworn affidavit as Deputy Preventive Superintendent attached to Customs Preventive Station, Apapa Wharf, Lagos, where he declared to be addressed as Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP presidential candidate, who was resident at No 3, Ayanboye Street, Anthony Estate, Ikorodu, declared in the sworn affidavit: “That I was known, addressed and called Atiku Abubakar. That in the year 1965, I changed my name to Siddiq Abubakar.”