Paper delivered at Press Conference of Coalition of 63 Christian Groups, to Nigerian Christians, to commemorate 59th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria.

Press Conference was held on Monday 30th Sept., 2019 in Lagos.


Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1: 18

  1. On qualification: the Judges agreed that the Petitioners have a burden of proving that Buhari is not qualified and did not discharge that burden.

    Analysis:  The Issue of qualification is a constitutional requirement  and the grounds for qualification are many. A person desirous of standing for election must identify the best constitutional provision that makes him qualified and use as his qualification. A person is not allowed to simply say that he/she is qualified after the election,  by relying on any of the Constitutional provisions. You must choose your qualifications and swim or sink with it. Buhari did not say that his qualification was being educated up to secondary school certificate level, he said that he obtained the secondary school certificate. He did not rely on his ability to speak, understand and write English language,  he said that he had the Secondary School Certificate, not the equivalent. Therefore, he is to swim or sink with a Secondary School Certificate.

    Conclusion: the Court of Appeal is manifestly wrong to have enlarged Buhari's grounds of qualification by ascribing to him, qualifications that he never claimed to rely on in his form CF001. The burden of proof is on the party who alleges.  However, the burden shifts to the Respondent the moment the Petitioner showed that the 2nd Respondent did not meet the requirement of qualification as required in form CF001, (which is a form made pursuant to the Electoral Act and therefore part of the Act) to attach all evidence of educational qualifications.

    a. The Petitioners showed the Court that the 2nd Respondent did not attach the certificates he relied on for his qualification as a mandatory requirement of the Electoral Act vide the Form CF001. It then becomes the duty of Buhari to show why he did not attach evidence of his qualification to the said form.

    b. In his bid to justify his failure to comply with the law as required in form CF001, to attach evidence of his educational qualifications,  Buhari deposed to a separate Affidavit (not the verifying affidavit that forms part of the form CF001) at the FCT High Court in 2014, wherein he claimed that his certificates as listed in the form CF001 are currently with the Secretary of Army Board.

    c. The Petitioners show to the Court that that Army denied the claims in that Affidavit. At this point, it became the duty of Buhari to produce the Certificate from the Army and he failed to do so. In fact, Buhari never testified in Court. Instead, his own witness testified against his interest upon their own questions. The Petitioners discharged their burden of proof even beyond the threshold of the criminal law standard.

    2. False Declaration: The Court agreed that the Petitioners failed to proof that Buhari lied in aid of his qualification.

    Analysis:  this angle of the decision is most mind boggling of all. The Court went out to shop for a defence for Buhari and thereby fabricated an explanation for the lies. One of the judges even called this ground an allegation of perjury,  thereby showing his total lack of understanding the provision of the Electoral Act.

    Conclusion: Interestingly, the Court totally decided to be ignorant of the decision of the Supreme Court in *ABDULRAUF ABDULKADIR MODIBBO VS. MUSTAPHA USMAN & 2 ORS.* delivered on 30th July, 2019 wherein the meaning of FALSE DECLARATION was defined and the consequences/standard of proving same were established. They went on a voyage of inferences and imagined that Buhari truly submitted his certificates to the Army in 1961 even when his Course mate clearly stated in open Court that none of them gave any certificate to the Army. The judges choose to disregard these testimony by saying that the witness was not in the position of making that determination. Remember, Buhari brought him in order to make the point that they submitted their certificate to the Army. So, this is the Court, making overt efforts to defend Buhari.

    Note that, Buhari never claimed that his certificates were missing or that he is unaware of its whereabout. He made a clear declaration in an affidavit that his certificates were with the Army. The Petitioners demonstrated that the Army have denied being in possession of the certificates. At this points, it becomes the duty of Buhari to make sure that the Army produce his certificates. He is making a positive assertion that a certificate exist,  while the Petitioners asserted that it doesn't. So, a negative assertion cannot be proved, it only needs to be stated. It is the duty of the person who asserts the positive to proof its existence. Buhari failed to do this and the Court applauded him for it for failing to produce his certificates from the Army for the inspection of the Court.

    3. Server. The Court agreed that the Petitioners did not proof the existence of a server and the transmission of Election results to the INEC server.

    Analysis: the entire case of server was built and centred on INEC. INEC denied having any server in their Reply to the Petition. During the trial, the Petitioners called many INEC Ad-Hoc staff who participated in the 2019 Presidential Election. They all confirmed, in their testimonies before the Court, that they were trained by INEC to transmit the result of the Election electronically using the Smart Card Reader. INEC Cross-examined them using the content of the Petition and the Statement on Oaths deposed to by the Ad-Hoc staff. INEC, Buhari and APC never asked any of the Ad-Hoc staff any question from the content of their own (INEC, Buhari and APC) Replies to the Petition,  wherein their denial of Server and transmission were contained. Therefore, neither INEC, Buhari nor APC can rely solely on answers gotten from these Ad-Hoc staff as their defence in this case. Even one of the Judges agreed that INEC abandoned their defence and as such the Petitioners only needed to proof minimally in respect of server and the transmission of results. But, the lead judgment was conclusive that INEC and APC did not abandon their defence and that they were even right to rely on the evidence extracted from the cross-examination that did not emanate from their pleadings - what a court!

    The Judge who made an addendum on the question of server, observed that INEC failed to call any witness to contradict the witnesses of the Petitioners and that by so doing, INEC had abandoned their defence, having not extracted the evidence they relied on from their own pleadings. This is the correct law. This admonition only reveals that the Court knew the truth,  but went on to please the powers that be.

    It is a sad day for any nation, for judges to constitute themselves as businessmen ready to hand judgment to the most powerful. The judgment of the 9/11/19 was anything but a decision based on the evidence before the Court.

    The judge never made any reference to the defence of any of the Respondents in his judgment. He went on to obtain evidence that were never before the Court and relied on same to dismiss the Petition. He inferred that Buhari must have got a certificate before the Army recruited him in 1961, inspite of conflicting evidence of when exactly Buhari even joined the Army. One of the judges told Nigeria that an old witness cannot lie, but forgot that the same witness had said Buhari was recruited into the Army in 1962. So, where the judges actually the 4th Respondents? Yes, they were and that was the reason for their unanimity of decision. They gave a judgment that is disconnect from the facts and laws placed before them.

    Nigerians are not surprised at all. Nigerians already forecast that the Court is weak and helpless. The Court of Appeal only confirmed this belief.

    It is not left for the Supreme Court to decide if Nigerians can look to the Judiciary for any hope of justice. The Supreme Court will have to decide if Nigerians need to determine what qualification they intend to rely on for contesting election and how they are to show that they posses the qualification they've chosen to rely on.

    For now, qualification is needless as a claim of having one, without more, will suffice. Atleast,  that was the thinking of persons who called themselves judges.

Concerned Lawyer 

National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has noted the alarm raised by some Muslims, particularly from the northern parts of the country, that a Mosque building was “demolished” by the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike. In a sharply religiously divergent society that Nigeria has become in recent years, such outcry is of tremendous concern to those who understand the implications.

A coalition of religious organisations in Nigeria has recommended the setting up of religious equity commission to manage issues  affecting religion in Nigeria.
The group made the demand  after a conference on religious freedom organised in Lagos to commemorate this year’s international day to observe the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion, Belief, or Faith, declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The event was jointly organised by the National Christian Elders Forum, Christian Socialist Movement of Nigeria, Voice of Christian Martyrs and International Christian Foundation for Democracy (United States).




Following the Declaration by the General Assembly of United Nations that 22nd August of each year should be marked as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion, Belief, or Faith, the religious community in Nigeria marked the Day with a Press Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria.


22nd August, 2019


On 28th May, 2019, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Document A/73/L.85 and passed a resolution approving 22nd August as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Base on Religion, Belief or Faith. The advocacy for an International Day for Religious Freedom was started by Ms. Ewelina Ochab, a legal researcher and human rights advocate.

In compliance with the UN resolution adopting 22nd August as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on their Religion, Belief or Faith, Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN), in collaboration with leaders of Islam, Traditional Religion, International Christian Foundation for Democracy (ICFD), and Voice of Christian Martyrs (VOCM) shall convene a Press Conference to commemorate the first International Day of Religious Freedom.

In seeking to resolve critical issues in the Church and in the country, what should be our Rules of Engagement?
Should our engagement be pacifist or militant?
To answer these questions we should consider two things:
1. What does the Lord say?
2. What is the opposite side doing?

It is very disturbing to observe the ease with which Nigerian elites, particularly the Christians, are dribbled and sent on wild goose chase on very sensitive national issues. There is the need therefore to re-state the core issues that are causing problems in Nigeria and what constitutes the solution. At this rate, those who have constituted themselves into enemies of Nigeria are having cheap victory.

Following an unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and people belonging to religious minorities, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution proclaiming 22 August as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on their Religion, Belief or Faith, amongst other matters.

According to a UN Report, “by terms of the text ‘International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief’ (document A/73/L.85), the Assembly invited all Member States, the United Nations and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil societies and the private sector, to observe the International Day.”

Chairman Solomon Asemota of the National Christian Elders Forum of Nigeria speaking at The George Washington University in Washington, DC as part of the U.S. State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. His visit to the United States was hosted by the International Christian Foundation for Democracy (ICFD).


America’s top diplomat for Africa has admitted there is a religious component of the farmer herder conflict in Nigeria. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, ambassador Tibor Nagy stated this in response to queries from international human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe during the recent Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by the US State Department.

The report documents the increasing scale and severity of Fulani militant attacks against predominantly Christian farming communities in Nigeria and chronicles at least 52 Fulani militant attacks between the start of 2019 and June 12.

“Nearly every single day, I wake up with text messages from partners in Nigeria, such as this morning: ‘Herdsmen stab 49-year-old farmer to death in Ogan,’” human rights lawyer and Jubilee Campaign Director Ann Buwalda said during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C, this month. 

To: The National Assembly
Christian Association of Nigeria

I arrived London, United Kingdom on the 20th of May 2019 on holidays when a Nigerian Anglican Bishop asked if I had come to attend the Hearing in the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Freedom of Religion and Belief (IFoRB) Nigeria Inquiry. This information made me attend the Hearing the following morning, the 21st of May 2019 at Committee Room 20 in the House of Commons at The British House of Parliament. I was accompanied by an Elder in Diaspora and to our amazement a Nigerian Archbishop was making his presentation. What the Archbishop said in his presentation can be summarized as: "Yes there are killings in Nigeria, Yes the killings are on both sides but they are as a result of poverty and lack of education". All attempts made by me to be allowed to comment were ignored by the Chair who is a female member of the British House of Lords. At the conclusion of the Hearing, she promised to pass on all the information obtained at the Inquiry to the British Parliament.

In response to the request of the All Party Parliamentary Groups of the UK Parliament for “written submissions” for an Inquiry “into the on-going violence between farmers and herders in Nigeria”, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) made a submission on 3rd June, 2019. In response to this submission of the NCEF which was reported in the media on 27th June, 2019 that the Government of President Buhari, through the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, wrote to the British Parliament denying persecution of Christians in Nigeria.