Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Thursday officially confirmed that Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, sat its Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in 1976 at the Government College, Kaduna.
The council also confirmed that the governor had sat for the exams using ‘Razaq A.R.’ as contained in the credentials he repeatedly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when contesting for elections.
The confirmation was contained in the certified true copy of the results of the governor and other candidates of the same set which the examination body forwarded to the Kwara State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin under the chairmanship of Justice Bassey Effiong.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is challenging the election of AbdulRazaq on the allegation that he did not have WAEC results as required by the law. The WAEC document, which is a statement of result, numbered exhibit P3B, was presented by a senior examination officer with the Ilorin office of WAEC, Olorunsola Victor O.
The witness, during cross examination, also confirmed to the tribunal that at least, 31 other candidates had their names abbreviated, putting to rest claims by the PDP that the WAEC did not allow abbreviations during that time.
When asked if it would be a horrible lie for anyone to claim that AbdulRazaq did not write the exam, the witness said “Yes”.
The CTC of the result was signed by a deputy registrar, School Examinations Department of WAEC, Olu I. Adenipekun, on behalf of the Head, National Office of WAEC.
The result was presented following a subpeona by the tribunal at the behest of the PDP.
The cross-examination was preceded by a mild drama at the tribunal when counsel to the PDP governorship candidate, Razak Atunwa, Paul Erokoro (SAN), disowned the representative of the WAEC just minutes after he vehemently fought to have him testify at the tribunal.
The tribunal, in its ruling, rejected the PDP’s application on the grounds that there was no sufficient evidence to say that the witness did not come from WAEC.
“We recall that the witness was presented by petitioners as WAEC representative. He has been sworn on oath that he is WAEC representative. He has presented his ID. He said he is here to present the document based on the subpeona. All of these constituted evidence and there was no accusation of any sort against this witness,” Effiong said.
He added: “The only disagreement of the petitioners is that there is no minutes on the subpeona introducing him. We hold that this is not sufficient to order warrant against WAEC, especially that sufficient time had been given for this document to come.
“This witness has given evidence on oath and he must be cross-examined. All of his testimonies on oath are on our record. If the petitioners’ only argument is about minutes and not necessarily the genuineness of the subpeona or document attached thereto, then we refuse this application of the petitioners for bench warrant (on WAEC)
“We hold that the witness’ evidence be continued or if it is concluded, then he must be cross-examined.”
The case has been adjourned to July 23 for the respondents to open their defence.