While confession made by lawyers representing the interest of President Bola Tinubu that documents of his academic records submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are fraught with errors and inconsistencies has raised further questions about the authenticity of the certificate being parades by the President, further closer scrutiny of the documents by lawyers of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has further unearthed what might be the mother of all so forgery and perjury cases.
President Tinubu’s lawyers on Wednesday in response to the petition of Atiku in a Federal Court in Chicago, Illinois for the discovery of the documents of Tinubu at the Chicago State University (CSU) agreed that there are errors in the academic certificate presented to INEC by the President, and blamed those errors on the clerk of the university.
It would be recalled that both the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party’s candidate, Peter Obi have asked for a disqualification of President Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election on account of a forgery allegation made against him before the Presidential Election Petition Court.
A slew of court documents submitted by Atiku’s lawyers both in the United States and Nigeria show disturbing discrepancies and circumstantial fallacies in the documents purportedly obtained by the Chicago State University pertaining to Tinubu’s academic records from the university.
Atiku’s lead Counsel in the United States, Angela Liu, said one of the documents, for instance, is the certified true copy of the certificate submitted by Tinubu to INEC on 17th June 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.
“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, which is a copy of the certificate forwarded by Mr. Westberg, as mentioned above, in response to a subpoena that was issued to CSU in respect of 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, the interesting thing upon further examination of these documents is that while they all speak to the same subject matter, which is Tinubu’s academic qualifications from Chicago State University, they 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 22nd June 1979 but then proceeded to forward a copy of a certificate (“B”) dated 27th June 1979. Please note that “A” is actually dated 22nd June 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 issued 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)”. Nowhere is there any 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. Further interrogation of both documents, however, tells that BOTH certificates may well be fake – notwithstanding that “B” was purportedly issued by CSU.”
The lawyers argue further, “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 documents marked “D1” and “D2”)
“Certificate “A” was purportedly signed by two other people apart from Dr. Elnora D. Daniel. These names are not clear and it is indicative of a deliberate attempt to confuse the reader into believing the authenticity of the document.
“Certificate “A” was purportedly signed by Dr. Niva Lubin (please note that her name is 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 the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of CSU 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”).”
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.
Atiku, it will be recalled had approached a Chicago Illinois District court to subpoena a full 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.
- – Adopted from Sunday Telegraph