Few days after the former Head of State and Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, explained in an affidavit submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that all his academic credentials were with the Military Board, the Army have stated that they do not keep the certificates of any serving or retired officer or soldier.
General Buhari is contesting the presidential election for the fourth time under different political parties including the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, but the issue of his qualifications had never been controversial until the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, recently described him as a ‘’semi- illiterate.’’
However, against the backdrop of Buhari’s affidavit in court, a military source said ‘’that the Army cannot keep anybody’s original certificate because it is the personal property of the owner,’’ adding that such original certificates were only needed at the point of entry into the service.
According to the source, the Military only kept photocopies of credentials of officers and soldiers in their personal files that were in the military secretary’s office.
“The original certificate of any officer or soldier is only needed at the point of entry into the service either as a cadet officer entering the Nigerian Defence Academy, or the recruitment officers when interviewing recruits to be sent to the depot for training. That is so, because they are needed to verify what were in the photocopies supplied by them or from the necessary examining bodies.”
The source further stated that anybody claiming that his original certificates were with the Military Secretary (Army), had ‘’ulterior motive(s) or something he or she cannot explain.’’
He further added, “Let me tell you now, in the Navy, the Navy Secretary, NAVSEC, keep the documents of all Naval officers and ratings and not their original certificates which are their personal property.