At last, officials of Chicago State University (CSU) during deposition under oath, have disowned the certificate President Bola Tinubu presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the 2023 Presidential election.
By this latest development, it is now clear that Tinubu forged the certificate he submitted to INEC even as it was established that he attended the university.
During deposition which commenced at 5pm Nigerian time on Tuesday, CSU officials denied the stamp and other items on the certificate and said they did not know where he got the certificate from.
Other details in contention include his claim that he attended a secondary school that didn’t exist till four years after he supposedly graduated from the university.
One of the CSU officials interrogated during the Deposition said amongst other things:
“I’m not aware of any instance where CSU had been requested to certify a document.
“Mr. Wole Afolabi who was acting for President Tinubu insisted that the documents must be certified.
“Mr. Wole Afolabi is President Tinubu’s lawyer.
“Mr. Afolabi and Mr. Orr communicated by email. I don’t recall seeing the emails.
“I don’t know if Jason Carter approved of the certification.
“Apart from Jason Carter I do not know anyone else who was involved in the process.
“I went into Mr. Tinubu’s student’s file and produced the documents to Mr. Orr.
“I didn’t know that the documents would be certified. I don’t get involved in legal matters.
“Mr. Tinubu requested that the documents be released to Mr. Afolabi for ‘legal proceedings’.
“The signature on the consent form is similar to the signature we have on record for Mr. Tinubu”.
“All of the certified documents came from CSU’s files. Nothing was handed over to us by Mr. Afolabi except for the FERPA form.
“CSU had never certified documents for anyone before. It must have been made because there was more of a Nigerian thing”.
“The documents were released in pursuance of a FERPA request. I believe Mr. Afolabi requested that the documents be certified.
“I’m not aware if the stamp affixed by Mr. Orr to the documents was an official document. It is not part of CSU practice.
“Mr. Orr later departed from CSU after these documents… after these documents were certified.
“I don’t know if his departure was connected to the certification of the documents; but I don’t think it was”.
Recall that on Monday, CSU released the academic records of President Bola Tinubu to his political opponent, Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 election, had requested the documents to back his allegation of forgery of CSU certificate against Tinubu.
The allegation of forgery was one of those dismissed by the presidential election court in the suit Atiku filed to challenge the election of Tinubu. Despite the court’s ruling, Atiku continued his case at the US court, hoping to get official documents to back his claim and possibly include them in his appeal at the Supreme Court.
Through his lawyers, Atiku sought these key things – an example of a CSU diploma issued in 1979; Tinubu’s diploma issued in 1979; example of a CSU diploma that “contains the same font, seal, signatures and wording” as Tinubu’s diploma issued in June 1979 and CSU documents certified and produced by Jamar Orr, an associate general counsel at CSU at the time.
Tinubu had done all within his power not to have the record released, saying they would cause him severe harm because they were private to him but a United States District Court in Northern Illinois ordered CSU to release the academic records.
The released documents pointed out some issues.
AUTHENTICITY OF GRADUATION
The documents contained Tinubu’s admission records, and a letter dated 27 June 2022 confirming that he attended the university from August 1977 to June 1979 majoring in accounting. The letter said Tinubu was awarded Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Honours on 22 June 1979.
A careful look at the documents showed that the certificate which Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is different from the certificates CSU issued in 1979. Tinubu, who had previously claimed to have lost his original certificates, presented a replacement of his CSU diploma to INEC.