The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said that the errors in President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University (CSU) certificate have validated why he (Atiku) raised his petition.
Atiku, who is seeking nullification of Tinubu’s election on the grounds of alleged electoral fraud, narcotics dealing and election irregularities at the presidential election petition tribunal, had petitioned the US District Court to subpoena CSU into releasing President Tinubu’s academic records to aid his argument.
A few days ago, Tinubu through his lawyers said that his academic records printed by the CSU were fraught with errors and inconsistency with the ones he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu’s lawyers on Wednesday in response to Atiku’s petition at the US federal court in Chicago, Illinois, said that there were errors in the President’s academic certificate and blamed an unnamed clerk of the university for the errors.
Meanwhile, Atiku through his lawyers, said a closer scrutiny of the documents by his legal team showed that the president had two copies of the certificate which also presented even more damning revelations.
One of the documents was the certified true copy of the certificate submitted by Tinubu to INEC on June 17, 2022, but 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.
The lawyers further noted that “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.”
It was however noted that upon further examination of the documents, while they all centered on Tinubu’s academic qualifications from the Chicago State University, all the documents bear different details.
Atiku’s lawyers who scrutinised the documents said that “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 further that while “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 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 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 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.