President Muhammadu Buhari has told the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, that hes more qualified than him to contest for the presidency.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) crowned President Buhari winner of the February 23 election with 15,191,847 of the total votes cast while Atiku gained 11,262,978 votes.

However, in a petition filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal last month, Atiku claimed that he actually won the election with 1.6 million more votes than Buhari according to an internal compilation of results he claimed was obtained from INEC's server.

He also accused Buhari of not possessing the educational qualification to contest, alleging that he submitted false academic documents to INEC to aid his qualification.

In his counter to Atiku's petition, Buhari said he's far more constitutionally and educationally qualified to occupy the office of president than the former vice president.

"The respondent (Buhari) avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner; and that in terms of educational qualifications, training and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience," the response read.

Also, in the response filed by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the president said Atiku is the one who's not qualified to contest, challenging his credentials.

AFP
Atiku Abubakar believes he won the 2019 presidential election [AFP]

"The 1st petitioner is hereby given notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates," he said.

In responding more directly to Atiku's claims, Buhari said he never submitted false documents to INEC, listing the schools he attended with dates. 

The president's response read, "He (Buhari) did not, at any time, provide any false information in the Form CF001 submitted to the 1st respondent (INEC), either in 2014 or 2018. The affidavit of compliance to the 2019 Form CF001 was correct in every material particular.

"In filling Form CF001 in 2014 and 2019, the respondent was not oblivious of the constitutional qualifications stipulated in Section 131 of the Constitution and interpreted in Section 318 of the same Constitution."

According to the result obtained from the INEC server as claimed by Atiku in his petition, the former vice president actually scored 18,356,732 votes while Buhari scored 16,741,430 votes.

While filing its response before the tribunal on Thursday, April 11, INEC accused Atiku and the PDP of producing fake election results to prove his case.