The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) allegedly dispatched a team of lawyers and other party agents to the University of Cambridge to confirm the authenticity of the West African School Certificate (WASC) of President Muhammadu Buhari, a chieftain from within the ranks of the opposition party told Pulse on condition of anonymity this week.
"We did not only send a delegation, we also made a request seeking potential evidence.
"Our party representatives were stunned when their frantic efforts within and outside Nigeria led only to a discovery that the president did indeed write the WASC Cambridge examination and passed with six (6) credits", the source added.
PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, was not immediately available for a response to this story.
The subject of President Buhari's O' level certificate has been around forever. Before the 2015 elections, opposition talking heads and party chieftains dragged candidate Buhari and his political party, APC, to court, demanding that he be stopped from contesting in the election.
All through President Buhari's first term as a civilian president, the subject of the authenticity of his WASC certificate refused to go away.
An old video comes alive
The PDP has also recently pounced on a 2015 video in which Information Minister, Lai Mohammed is seen asking the nation to forgive Buhari if he can't recall where he kept his secondary school certificate.
The video has been making the rounds on social media for days on end.
The opposition party is asking Buhari to vacate his seat as president based off Mohammed's admission in the video.
The PDP says: "In this latest shenanigan, President Buhari and his handlers ought to have known that the law, which the judiciary is bound to uphold, is a respecter of no man.
"The PDP holds that if President Buhari indeed seeks for pardon from Nigerians, he should do the needful by toeing the path of honour and vacating the presidential seat without further delay. It is disheartening that President Buhari and his APC would put our nation through the troubles of legal hassles when they knew all the while that they were building something on nothing."
In the hunt for Buhari's certificate, some media houses have also requested Cambridge to provide them with a confirmation of the president's certificate, Pulse has learnt.
“Cambridge Assessment International Education issued the Certifying Statement that indeed President Buhari sat for his examinations in 1961 when it received a request from the President to do so", one presidential aide told Pulse upon inquiry.
In a press statement sent to Pulse by its Secretary Oladele Peter, the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD) says it amounts to sub judice "for the opposition party to continue this futile attempts at preempting the judgment of the Presidential Election Tribunal.
“The desperation of the PDP is frightening, very frightening to say the least. They will stop at nothing and I expect Nigerians to be aware of their antics by now. They have peddled all kinds of falsehood against the president especially the claim that he does not have a certificate but have always failed."
According to the ISD, the first attempt to ridicule the president was in 2014 before the 2015 elections. "If they have any evidence contrary to what has been presented in court and what they themselves discovered during their surreptitious investigations and the evidence sourced from reputable Cambridge University and tendered in open court, they should present it.
“The PDP is free to present its counter-evidence if there is any but they know that there is no such evidence. They are only playing on the emotions of Nigerians by peddling fake news; a 2015 video deliberately slanted. It is time Nigerians become more aware of this,” he said.
ISD adds that it is another signal of desperation that the opposition party has even gone to the extent of populating an old video in which Mohammed was deliberately taken out of context.
“This is a very old video, for those of us who watch Channels TV we were stunned to see the video making the rounds, it is old and ridiculous. If you watch the video, you will find that Mr. Mohammed never said they should pardon the President, instead he said if someone does not find his or her certificate after 53 years they could be pardoned.
"It is unbelievable how the opposition party and its backers continue to push a media campaign hoping to confuse everybody, yet in the court of law, their case was clearly shown to be hopeless and baseless."
The president's lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, also presented a class photograph of President Buhari and his classmates (in which the president is seen posing with a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi and Late Shehu Musa 'YarAdua).
The Cambridge University Certifying Statement was obtained personally by the president’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, Pulse was told by a presidential aide.
Malam Suleman Mai Adua, Buhari’s classmate in Katsina Provincial Secondary School has also tendered a group photograph of the school’s class of 1961 before the court.
On Monday, September 2, 2019, the Supreme Court struck out a suit seeking the disqualification of Buhari in the 2019 presidential election on grounds of alleged perjury.
The suit was filed by Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris--all legal practitioners.
Delivering judgment, the Justice Mary Odili-led panel of five justices held that the case was statute barred and therefore dismissed.