The presidency has dismissed claims that the certificate President Bola Tinubu presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 elections was forged. Chicago State University (CSU) had released the academic records of President Bola Tinubu to his political opponent, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, following the order of a court.
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.
Reacting on Wednesday, President Tinubu’s media aide, Temitope Ajayi, argued that CSU affirmed under oath that Tinubu attended and graduated from the institution and that the school does not handle replacements for lost certificates.
He said there was no truth in the forgery claim, adding that no person can forge a certificate he already has.
Taking to his account on the X formerly known as Twitter, the presidential media aide wrote: “We should be clear.
“In the deposition made by the Chicago State University, there was nowhere the University said the certificate presented to INEC by President Tinubu is fake. The University insisted under oath that President Tinubu graduated with honours and even at that, replacements for lost certificates are done by vendors not the University.
“The claim that President Tinubu submitted fake certificate to INEC does not make sense. A man cannot forget the academic records he possesses. You can only forge what you don’t have.”