On Thursday, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) refrained from verifying or refuting the authenticity of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) belonging to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun. An official of WAEC, Olufemi Olaleye, appeared before the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in response to a subpoena issued to WAEC. The tribunal is currently handling a challenge by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Ladi Adebutu, against Abiodun’s victory in the March 18 governorship election.
In his petition, Adebutu alleged that Abiodun presented a forged WASSCE of June 1978 to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on July 25, 2022. Adebutu claimed that he had written a letter to WAEC requesting them to verify the authenticity of the certificate submitted by Abiodun to INEC.
During the tribunal session, Olaleye, the WAEC official, did not bring a copy of the certificate, nor did he confirm whether Governor Abiodun had actually taken the examination as claimed. He was not sworn in on oath and was not permitted to enter the witness box. Despite not having the certificate with him, Olaleye was allowed to present a copy of the subpoena issued to WAEC as evidence.
While addressing the tribunal, Olaleye said he did not bring the requested certificate “because WAEC does not keep duplicates of collected WAEC certificates.”
According to him, to confirm whether or not somebody partakes in the council’s examination, “the original certificate given to the candidate will be forwarded to WAEC” for verification.
Olaleye was discharged immediately after he was recorded as having testified before the tribunal as PW73.
He declined to speak with journalists outside the courtroom, saying, “My lips are sealed.”