INEC DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO DISQUALIFY BUHARI



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made it clear that it does not have the constituted authority to disqualify the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari from contesting in the presidential election scheduled to hold in February 2015.
The electoral commission added that only a court holds the power to disqualify the former Head of State.
Coming on the heels of Buhari’s explanation that his credentials were with the Nigerian Army, INEC maintained that there was nothing it could do in the matter adding that it had not received any petition against President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buhari or any other presidential candidate.
In a recent interview, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity of INEC, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi  said the commission could not abuse its constitutional powers.
“What do you want INEC to do? INEC cannot disqualify anybody and there is nothing we can do. We don’t have any power to disqualify him. He didn’t bring it (certificates) and so there is nothing INEC can do. INEC cannot disqualify him and cannot remove his name. It is only the courts that can disqualify him, if they feel there is something wrong that he has done. I am not aware of any (petition); none that I am aware of for now. I am not aware of any (petition). I am not aware of any so far,” Osaze-Uzzi said.
Buhari had in an affidavit which he deposed to at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, explained that all his academic credentials were with the Secretary, Military Board.
The affidavit deposed to at the FCT High Court and dated November 24, 2014, was stamped and received by INEC on December 18, 2014.
“All my academic qualifications documents as filled in my presidential form, President APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary, Military Board as of the time of this affidavit. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purpose”, Buhari stated.

The Nigerian Army had said it would readily release credentials and certificates in its custody to serving and retired officers whenever they apply for it.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Olajide Laleye, had while reacting to Buhari’s claim in his affidavit, said that his credentials were with the military.


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