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When courts become degree-awarding institutions…

When courts become degree-awarding institutions…

By: Isaac “O’Zik” Omole

Last week, I met a friend of mine; he is a Mechanic, a skilled one at that. 29 years of age, but he has a couple of “certificates”. We were talking while I was in his shop and he informed me of his plans to swear an affidavit stating that he had a BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from one of these Nigerian Universities. I laughed. I laughed till my cheekbones started to hurt. I asked why he would do so; he then brought out a newspaper. In it, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, while ruling on the president’s academic qualifications, stated that the affidavit sworn by Buhari that he had a WASSCE result was valid and could be tendered as a qualification for him to contest.

My Friend, Tunji, then told me he now has trust in the Nigerian Judicial system and that the decision has so many benefits. He stated that he would be swearing the affidavit(s) soon. He even confided in me that he could use it to apply for jobs in big firms in need of a mechanic or mechanical engineer or perhaps might add it to his credentials when he contests for his area’s councilorship position.

To be sincere with you, I couldn’t agree with him less. He had stated the “gospel truth”. Why do we even need to sweat to pass WASSCE when we can just swear an affidavit of our results? Why should we go spend four, five, or six years in the university when we can just swear an affidavit of our degrees? Why do we have to spend years in the Polytechnics, Monotechnics, and Colleges of Education when we can “swear to God who made us” we graduated from there?

Truth be told, things get easier and easier in Nigeria. The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has just made life easy. Now, we just need a paltry sum of money to have our degrees and certificates. Can life be easier than that? No, It can’t! Don’t I just love this country? I do, I swear.

Three days ago, I was talking to a street brother. We talked at length. He then asked me of the essence of an affidavit. I told him, based on the little knowledge of law I had. He then revealed to me that he needed to swear to having a PGD and MSc in his affidavit since affidavit evidence is quite admissible. He wants to apply to a big firm in Lagos and they need an MSc holder to fill in the position he is applying for.

Based on the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal ruling, he can tender the affidavit he intends swearing at the firm and he would cite the case of Abubakar Atiku v. Mohammadu Buhari, APC, & INEC as a locus classicus. I had no choice than to shower him a round of applause; he got a sitting and a standing ovation too. I was wowed at his level of intelligence and how he could tap into the social benefits of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

I think we need to give the judiciary kudos. Lately, they have been delivering sound and impeccable judgments. They have been delivering judgments that have had positive impacts on the Nigerian politicosphere and the nation at large. Where would Nigeria have been without the judiciary? It has always been the hope of the common man. In fact, the judgment on the President’s result saga is the best I have seen in recent times; it shows how unbiased they are and how much they have the interests of the common man at heart.

I think I need to rest my pen now. We will discuss more of this result saga at a later time.

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