Amidst media speculations that the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, might be disqualified from contesting by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) due to his failure to submit his credentials, claiming that they were with the Secretary, military board, INEC has said it won’t verify his claims.
The commission posited that it is the duty the duty of the electoral commission but that of candidate’s political party to verify the credentials submitted by its flagbearer.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, stated this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the interview with journalists, Idowu stated, “I won’t speak on an individual. I can only speak in general term. No, I won’t comment on individual candidate on this issue. You can’t quote me on that.
“When parties file their nominees, the law requires that INEC should display those nominees for claims and objections. If objections are made to those claims, the commissions revert back to the political parties because the statutory mandate is on the parties to nominate their candidates and not to allow INEC to choose their candidates for them.
“INEC would have to revert back to the political parties to say ‘there is a challenge to the credentials that you have filed to the criteria that you have cited for any particular nominee, so do the needful by addressing it, either by verifying it and see whether it is true or by showing that it is not true and sort it out.’
“It is their job; they sort it out before they bring their nominees to the commission. So, the commission has no role in disqualifying candidates.”
He was also asked what the commission would do if a person did not submit credentials as required by law.
He stated, “I don’t see any basis of that objection. It is not only in INEC, everywhere, sometimes, you submit affidavit. It is not new, you can submit affidavit, attestation in place of the original certificate. If there is a challenge to what the commission has, the commission reverts back to the party because the commission does not even have the capacity to reject candidates. For now, I am not aware of any issue you are raising now that the commission will revert back to the party.”
The spokesperson noted that the People’s General attended well-known military institutions, including one at Aldershot in England, United Kingdom, other military institutions in the USA and India.
Dahiru Mohammed Lawal reports from Abuja, FCT