The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said that Nigerians are now perceived by outsiders and foreigners as frauds and identity thieves because of the controversy surrounding the released Chicago State University academic documents of President Bola Tinubu.
He, however, stated that this should not be the case if the President can come out and address the nation and the international community on the matters surrounding his identity.
Obi made this disclosure during a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, challenging the President to grant an interview on his identity, his academic background as well and his NYSC certificate.
According to the former Anambra State governor, the controversy surrounding the certificate is distorting Nigeria’s less-than-glorious image in the global community.
- “To the outsiders, the entire Chicago University matter as well as Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s other lingering identity question marks have further worsened Nigeria’s less-than-glorious image internationally. Uninformed outsiders now see every Nigerian as a fraudster, certificate forger, or identity thief.”
- “The controversy is unnecessary just as the implicit global embarrassment could have been avoided. In my opinion, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu should have saved the nation and himself from this embarrassment and undue anxiety. Even this late in the day, however, Chief Bola Tinubu still owes the nation and the world a simple debt of obligation only he can discharge,
- “He should reintroduce himself to the nation he governs and to the world for the avoidance of further doubt.”
What the Presidency is Saying
Following the release of the CSU academic records, the Presidency has stated that there is no allegation of forgery of results indicated in the released documents or the deposition granted by the registrar of the school.
They further emphasized that the allegations of forgery are a falsehood purported by the opposition parties to discredit the President’s academic records.
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, for instance, stated that no court, particularly the Supreme Court, will find Tinubu guilty of certificate forgery based on the documents released by CSU or the deposition from the registrar of the academic institution.
Taking to his X (formerly Twitter) account, Keyamo, SAN, emphasized that Chicago State University officially stated it doesn’t issue certificates, as vendors handle this on the institution’s behalf.
He argued that any challenge to the forgery accusation remains ineffective until the vendor responsible for Tinubu’s replacement certificate refutes its authenticity.
The statement reads in part,
- “Addressing the controversies that arose this week, after the Chicago State University (CSU) revealed Tinubu’s academic records, Keyamo insisted that “you cannot allege or prove forgery except the purported maker of the document denies its authenticity”.
- “When some comments or perceptions of otherwise plain and simple issues are so moronic, mischievous, or downright odious, they do not deserve a response because you’d be dignifying idiocy. But let me drop this here for posterity.
- “I have been a defence and prosecution lawyer at the highest level in criminal trials for more than 30 years. YOU CANNOT ALLEGE OR PROVE FORGERY EXCEPT for THE PURPORTED MAKER OF THE DOCUMENT DENIES ITS AUTHENTICITY OR THERE IS UNCONTRADICTED EVIDENCE OF A FORENSIC REPORT THAT CATEGORICALLY SAYS THE DOCUMENT WAS DELIBERATELY ALTERED OR CONCOCTED BY THE PERSON WHO UTTERED (in a legal sense) OR ISSUED IT.
- “Applying this principle to the case of Atiku Abubakar V Chicago State University, so long as the University openly said THEY DO NOT ISSUE REPLACEMENT CERTIFICATES, BUT THAT VENDORS DO SO ON THEIR BEHALF, all this noise about so-called forgery is useless until THE PARTICULAR VENDOR THAT ISSUED the replacement certificate to @officialABAT denies its authenticity. And the accuser must fish out the said vendor and get that evidence. It is not the other way around. He who alleges must prove.”
What You Should Know
Chicago State University (CSU) recently made President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic records available to Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.
This action followed a court order in Illinois, United States.
CSU issued an official response to a Revised Subpoena for Document Production, which is dated September 13, 2023.
The public release of academic documents has ignited various controversies within the media. Opposition party members are engaging in heated debates with the President’s spokespersons, questioning the authenticity of the results and the President’s claim that he graduated from the University.