The registrar of Chicago State University (CSU), Mr. Caleb Westberg, Tuesday, told a court ordered deposition in Illinois that even though President Bola Ahmed Tinubu graduated from the university, it did not issue the CSU diploma certificate Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 presidential run.
Westberg made the disclosure while responding to questions from Angela Liu, lawyer to former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, in a United States legal proceeding.
The former vice president will today hold a world press conference on the result of his discovery effort at CSU.
But Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, described the issues surrounding the president’s academic qualifications as frivolous, saying the administration cannot waste its time on such “trivial matters”.
Nonetheless, the presidency, last night, further clarified that the certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC was authentic and not forged, as being insinuated in some quarters.
Meanwhile, former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chijoka, said the Supreme Court would be doing Nigeria a great disservice if it ignored the CSU’s sworn testimony on the Tinubu certificate saga. Chijoka spoke last night on the Arise News Primetime programme.
Atiku, who was the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and first runner-up in the last presidential election, had sought to nullify the declaration of Tinubu as president by INEC.
He currently has a pending appeal at the Supreme Court, following the dismissal of his petition against the February 25 election that produced Tinubu as president.
A five-member panel of the presidential election tribunal had, in a unanimous judgement on September 6, held that Atiku could not prove his allegations of irregularities, noncompliance, as well as corrupt practices during the presidential election.
Besides, the panel declined to entertain Atiku’s prayers for the disqualification of Tinubu from the poll over alleged forgery and perjury, on the grounds that the allegations were not part of the former vice president’s petition filed on March 21, 2023.
Atiku believed that by Nigeria’s laws, a candidate could be barred from participating in an election over acts of forgery and lying on oath.
Among the documents Tinubu submitted last year to INEC was a diploma certificate, said to have been obtained from CSU in 1979. The document, like his educational history, was enmeshed in great controversy, leading to the instant litigation in the United States.