Chicago State University Confirms President Tinubu Presented False Certificates to INEC
According to testimony from the organisation he appropriated, the Peoples Gazette can report that President Bola Tinubu submitted a forged degree certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he submitted his paperwork to lead Nigeria in June 2022. This opens a new but potentially fatal front in the ongoing struggle to remove the Nigerian leader for his proven wrongdoings from the past.
At a deposition of school officials on Tuesday in Chicago, Mr. Tinubu’s certificate—the only academic qualification he provided to the electoral office—was officially rejected.
The Gazette has learned about what may have been Nigerians’ most important expectation: how the school would characterise Mr. Tinubu’s certificate of oath and the threat of perjury. An enlarged transcript of the session is still being processed.
Mr. Tinubu’s certificate, dated June 22, 1979, and submitted to INEC on June 17, 2022, was not granted by Chicago State University, according to Caleb Westberg, the registrar, and its administration were unable to validate its provenance.
During the approximately 5.5-hour deposition, Westberg, the CSU’s registrar since November 2020, also stated that Mr. Tinubu never requested a replacement certificate and was never given one.
The emphatic statement marked the culmination of Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Tinubu’s major rival, who had pursued a legal strategy over several months, asking the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago to determine if the document was real or not.
A final injunction imposed by Judge Nancy Maldonado of the federal district court requires the CSU administration to give the university copies of all documents relating to Mr. Tinubu and to show up for a deposition before an adversarial legal team put together by Mr. Abubakar.
Sensing the unavoidable consequences of the case, Mr. Tinubu actively pursued its failure. His attorneys informed the judge in a hearing on September 21 that the release of the documents and deposition would unavoidably cause severe, irreparable harm to the Nigerian president.
The institution had long maintained that Mr. Tinubu had attended it; he enrolled in 1977 and received his diploma in 1979. However, the school’s decision not to validate the document the Nigerian president had submitted would have an impact on more than 200 million people in Nigeria for some time.
Previously, when Mr. Tinubu sought the governorship of Lagos in 1999, he lied under oath by claiming to have graduated from the esteemed University of Chicago. He was elected before the breach was discovered; he only provided an affidavit to support his claim, which was later revealed to be false, and the Nigerian Supreme Court ruled that as a governor in office, he could not be charged with any crimes.
As a result, he was able to avoid being held responsible for the breach. After that, he stopped claiming to have attended the University of Chicago, sticking instead to the claim that he had attended Chicago State University, a campus of Illinois State University that was historically well-liked by black students.
A spokesman for the president was not immediately available for reaction to the development on Tuesday night. But the president’s allies have suggested publicly that the evidence was inconsequential and propagated the Supreme Court’s readiness to throw it out.
The president’s allies are also banking on the muddled circumstances of the president’s certificate spiel, believing his Nigerian lawyers would be able to convince the Supreme Court to focus more on the school’s position that Mr. Tinubu was a student than how he came about parading a forged certificate.
On Monday evening, shortly after the school dumped records into the electronic filing portal used by lawyers for all parties, Mr. Tinubu’s team circulated a misrepresented account of the documents, successfully misleading some media outlets to run a claim that the school had authenticated Mr. Tinubu’s certificate.
In what appeared to be a reference to the document the school had produced in response to a 2022 subpoena acquired from a state court by Nigerian attorney Mike Enahoro-Ebah, they also claimed that a replacement was given to Mr. Tinubu on June 27, 1997.
In August 2022, Mr. Enahoro-Ebah obtained the certificate, dated June 27, 1979, from CSU together with all of Mr. Tinubu’s academic records. However, the certificate was signed by Elnora Daniel and Niva Lubin, who weren’t students at the institution in 1979, and it was issued on June 27, 1979.
Mr. Enahoro-Ebah immediately went to Nigeria with the records and filed a criminal complaint after contrasting the certificate he received from CSU with the certificate Mr. Tinubu submitted to INEC on June 22, 1979.
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