On Monday, the Senate conducted a rigorous interrogation of a ministerial nominee regarding his admission into the university with just two credit passes in the school certificate examination. The nominee defended his eligibility, stating that he deliberately excluded certain certificates because the constitution stipulates that the qualification to contest elections, even for the presidency, requires a school certificate.
During the ministerial screening, Senator Allwell Onyesoh from Rivers East raised concerns about Senator Bello Muhammed’s credentials, seeking clarification on how he gained admission to the university with only two credits in his secondary school results.
Senator Onyesoh questioned the nominee, saying, “I’ve been looking for your school cert. I saw one. You sat for five subjects with two credits.”
The nominee responded by explaining that he made a conscious decision to submit specific certificates in accordance with the constitutional requirements for contesting elections. He asserted that the constitution recognizes a school certificate as the essential qualification for aspiring candidates, including those running for the highest office in the country.
“I don’t know how; I want to imagine that you still have another to bring. If not, I would want you to explain how you got into university with that.”
The ministerial nominee, Muhammed, told the senate that he has other secondary school results that he “all passed” but he did not attach to his CV, explaining: “because we are talking of secondary school certificate.
“I want to remind the distinguished senator which I know he very much knows that with the qualification of secondary school certificate, as enshrined in the constitution, we can stand for an election up to the presidential election.
“So, I didn’t bother you with much certificates. But I know those are the qualifications for that.”
He insisted: I “sat for another examination and I have passed but I don’t want to attach another qualification because.”
Senate President Godswill Akpabio, intervening, stated: “You are saying that you chose what to give to the Senate. You chose the qualification to bring before the Senate because of the constitutional provision that a secondary school certificate is what is required to stand for election.
“You’re not coming to stand for election; you’re coming to be a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, which are the other certificates you concealed? Which are the other certificates you did not put in your CV?”
Akpabio added: “So, you don’t choose and pick.”
The Senate President stated that the Senate would allow Muhammed some more time to bring the other certificates “to circulate, but not necessarily appealing again before us.”Thereafter, he was told to come back to the senate with all the results he excluded from his CV, because Nigerians need to know everything about their ministers.