Following a recent confession by lawyers representing the interest of President Bola Tinubu that documents of his academic records submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were fraught with errors and inconsistencies.
There has been closer scrutiny of those documents by lawyers of the former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, among others, a development raising more concerns. Read More: https://legalattorneyblog.com/2023/08/07/chicago-varsity-tinubu-refusing-to-clear-alleged-academic-inconsistencies-atiku/
It will be recalled that President Tinubu’s lawyers on Wednesday, in response to the petition of Atiku in a federal court in Chicago, Illinois, USA, for the discovery of the documents of Tinubu at the Chicago State University (CSU), admitted that there were errors in the academic certificate presented to INEC by the President, and blamed those errors on the clerk of the university.
It will also be recalled that both the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, have asked for a disqualification of President Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election on account of forgery allegation made against him before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
A slew of court documents submitted by Atiku’s lawyers both in the United States and Nigeria showed disturbing discrepancies in the documents purportedly obtained by the Chicago State University about Tinubu’s academic records from the university.
One of the documents, for instance, is the certified true copy of the certificate submitted by Tinubu to INEC on June 17, 2022, and according to Atiku’s lawyers, “this, purportedly, is the certificate issued to him by Chicago State University (“CSU”) showing that he attended the school, and evidencing the degree he was awarded.
More Controversies Trail tinubu’s Academic Credentials
“In another document is a copy of a letter dated September 22, 2022, from Mr. Caleb Westberg, the Registrar of CSU, attaching a copy of the certificate issued to Bola Tinubu in recognition of the degree he was awarded by the university.
“There is another document, a copy of the certificate forwarded by Mr. Westberg, as mentioned above, in response to a subpoena issued to CSU regarding Bola Tinubu’s academic qualifications and achievements.
“There is also a copy of the bio of Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson. Dr. Lubin-Johnson was the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of CSU from January 2001 to December 2002.
“Also is a copy of the bio of Dr. Elnora D. Daniel. Dr. Daniel was the President of CSU from 1998 to 2008.”
However, further examination of the documents revealed that while they all speak to the same subject matter, Tinubu’s academic qualifications from the Chicago State University all bear different details.
“The document marked “A” is the certificate submitted by Tinubu to INEC. This certificate is, in every material respect, exactly the same as the document marked “B” except for the following:
“Document “A” is signed by at least 3 people whereas “B” is signed by only 2 people.
“The document marked “E” states that Tinubu was issued a certificate on June 22 1979, but then proceeded to forward a copy of a certificate (“B”) dated June 27 1979. Please note that “A” is dated June 22 1979, but this document did not emanate from CSU. Only “B” did.
“It is clear that either “A” or “B” is fake (if not both). You cannot have two certificates issued by the same university, to the same person, for the same course of study, but printed on different dates and signed by two different sets of people.
“The documents “A” and “B” both state that Tinubu graduated with a BSc in “Business AND Administration”, whereas document “E” (which came from CSU) states that he graduated with a BSc in “Business Administration”.
It is important to note that CSU’s website states that ‘The College of Business offers a contemporary business program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Masters in Business Administration (MBA)’. There is no reference to “Business AND Administration” throughout the website.
“If you look at both “A” and “B”, it would appear that one of them is fake. However, further interrogation of both documents says that BOTH certificates may be fake – notwithstanding that “B” was purportedly issued by CSU,” Atiku’s lawyers said.
The lawyers argued further that “both certificates were purportedly signed by Dr. Elnora D. Daniel. This is physically impossible, as Dr. Daniel was only President of CSU from 1998 to 2008. She was neither President of the university in 1979 – when the certificate was purportedly issued – nor was she President in 2022, when the replacement certificates were issued. (See document marked “D1” and “D2”)
“Certificate “A” was purportedly signed by two other people apart from Dr. Elnora D. Daniel. These names are unclear and deliberately confuse the reader into believing the document’s authenticity.
“Certificate “A” was purportedly signed by Dr. Niva Lubin (please note that her name is actually Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson, and every public document or reference bears her full name and not the abbreviation). This is also physically impossible, as Dr. Lubin-Johnson was CSU’s Chairperson of the Board of Trustees from January 2001 to December 2002 only.
She was appointed to the Board of Trustees only in 1996 and was not made the Chairperson until five years later. Dr. Lubin-Johnson was neither a member of the Board of Trustees nor its Chairperson in 1979 – when the purportedly issued certificate – nor was she Chairperson in 2022, when the replacement certificate was purportedly issued. (See document marked “C1” and “C2″),” they added.
Another graphic discrepancy in the certificate emanating from Tinubu and the one presented by the CSU upon subpoena is that the two bear different letter fonts and logos of the Chicago State University.
More Controversies Trail tinubu’s Academic Credentials
Atiku, it will be recalled, had approached a Chicago Illinois District court to subpoena a complete discovery of Tinubu’s academic records from the CSU, where the President stated under oath to have graduated in 1979, having completed his undergraduate studies in Accounting.
It will also be recalled that Tinubu had instructed his lawyers to ask the court to decline the request by Atiku, citing confidentiality.
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