Abdulrrafiu Baruwa, a lawyer and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has filed a suit seeking the disqualification of Dapo Abiodun, the APC governorship candidate in Ogun State, from the 2019 general election.
Backstory: The suit filed at a high court in Abuja requested the disqualification of Abiodun over “false information” contained in the academic qualification he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Abiodun had declared only his West African School Certificate (WAEC), which he sat for in 1978, to INEC on October 23, 2018.
However, while running as the APC senatorial candidate for Ogun East in 2015, he claimed to have attended the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, and Kennesaw State University, Atlanta Georgia, US.
These claims were backed by an affidavit Abiodun swore to at the high court, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Abiodun’s decision not to include the two degrees while filing for the 2019 general elections fuelled suspicion that perhaps he had not undergone the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Baruwa claims to be certain that Abiodun had graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) before he turned 30, however, he has alleged that Abiodun neither participated in the mandatory youth service nor obtained an exemption certificate.
Abiodun, born on May 29, 1960, was 26 in 1986 when he supposedly completed his first degree. The age limit for national service is 30.
Baruwa has said Abiodun cannot be permitted by law to willfully conceal his qualifications for the sole purpose of evading the consequences of such educational qualifications.
Bottom Line: This is the season of high profile profiles for political persons over NYSC. A similar case has been filed in Kwara State against Hon. Razak Atunwa, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In Oyo, Adebayo Shittu, the minister of communication was disqualified by his party for not taking part in the NYSC. The most high profile case involved former finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, who was forced to resign for using a fake NYSC discharge certificate.