Chicago State University Declines To Verify Tinubu’s INEC Certificate Submission

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A noteworthy development has emerged in the ongoing certificate controversy surrounding Presidential candidate Bola Tinubu. Chicago State University (CSU) has opted not to confirm the authenticity of the certificate provided by Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in preparation for the February 25 presidential elections.

Furthermore, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has postponed its decision on a subpoena application seeking Tinubu’s records from the university.

During a hearing in Chicago, Michael Hayes, the legal representative for CSU, informed Judge Jeffrey Gilbert that the university was unable to ascertain whether Tinubu’s certificate was legitimate or counterfeit.

This statement contradicted the university’s prior assertion that it had issued a certificate to Tinubu after his graduation in 1979.

Hayes stated, “Is the diploma authentic, or is it a forgery? My client cannot answer yes to either of those questions,” during the Chicago hearing, which commenced around 1:30 p.m. (local time) and extended for several hours.

He further elaborated that CSU’s administrators, if questioned under oath, would be unable to authenticate Tinubu’s certificate because they lacked information about its origin.

Responding to the judge’s query regarding the university’s ability to confirm under oath that Tinubu had been issued the certificate he submitted to Nigeria’s electoral office in June 2022 as part of his eligibility paperwork, Hayes maintained that CSU records indicated Tinubu had attended the school. Nevertheless, he acknowledged several inconsistencies that the university’s administrators could not clarify under oath.

These disparities included the date on Tinubu’s certificate (June 22, 1977), the school’s president at the time the certificate was supposedly obtained, as well as typographical errors and formatting discrepancies on the document.

Notably, Tinubu had submitted a certificate to INEC on June 17, 2022, allegedly issued in 1979 and signed by Elnora Daniel. However, Ms. Daniel only arrived at CSU in 1998, 19 years after Tinubu’s alleged graduation. She left the university in 2008 following a financial mismanagement scandal—14 years before CSU issued a fresh certificate in Tinubu’s name under subpoena from a Nigerian lawyer in June 2022.

These contradictions, among other issues, prompted a lawsuit filed by Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking to compel CSU to produce records related to Tinubu and make its top officials available for deposition to verify the produced records.

Alexandre de Gramont, representing Atiku, explained that the documents and depositions were being sought for use in the Nigerian Supreme Court; where the final battle over Tinubu’s election was unfolding.

Atiku has until September 20 to appeal the September 6 decision of the Court of Appeal, which is the initial court in the presidential election tribunal process in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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