Presidency, Atiku differ over certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC

Presidency, Atiku differ over certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC
Presidency, Atiku differ over certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC (Photo: Pulse Nigeria)

The Presidency has refuted claims that the certificate President Bola Tinubu presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in order to run for Presidency in 2023 was forged.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, in a statement, yesterday, said Chicago State University, CSU, did not admit that the certificate Tinubu presented to INEC was fake anywhere in its deposition.

He argued further that the university affirmed under oath that Tinubu attended and graduated from the institution and that the school does not handle replacements of lost certificates.

Ajayi spoke as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, said the administration of President Tinubu does not have time to waste on “trivial matters”, describing Atiku’s current moves as distractions.

However, Mr. Paul Ibe, Special Adviser to former Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, 2023, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, dismissed Tuggars’s position as “irresponsible and shameful” and countered Ajayi, saying from the depositions on CSU’s records on Tuesday, Tinubu forged the documents.

This came as the Labour Party, LP, regretted that the controversies trailing Tinubu’s academic records were putting Nigeria’s image among the comity of nations on trial, adding that it was awaiting the supreme court’s decision on the issue to take a final position.

Ajayi’s rebuttal comes amid reports that the Chicago State University had said in the testimony of the institution that the Nigerian President presented a forged degree certificate to the INEC when he filed his paperwork to lead Nigeria in June 2022.

Ajayi in his submission said there is no truth in such claims as no man can forge a certificate he already possesses and it is only what you don’t have that you forge.

Taking to his account on the X micro-blogging platform, 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 a fake certificate to INEC does not make sense. A man cannot forge the academic records he possesses. You can only forge what you don’t have.”

In light of the controversy surrounding President Tinubu’s academic records from the CSU, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, stated that the administration of the president does not have time to waste on such “trivial matters” adding that these are distractions.

Tuggar, speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, said that the controversy does not cast a shadow on some of the recent international engagements that the president has had.

“There is a tendency to always try to distract and detain people on such frivolous issues as opposed to facing the major issues of development. We don’t have time to waste on that,” he said.

He argued that a former president, Muhammadu Buhari, experienced a similar controversy over his academic qualifications.

“Nobody is wasting time about certificate qualification for somebody who has been a governor of a state, served two terms, and has been on the national stage as a politician.

“You remember that (former) President Buhari had to go through the same thing, where people were actually questioning whether he went to secondary school or not. Someone who had classmates, was a captain; he was a head boy,” he said.

The minister claimed that none of the international meetings the president had attended and interacted with showed interest in the saga.

“The foreign leaders that we’ve been engaging and the international organizations clearly are disinterested in wasting time on such. We pay no mind to that,” Tuggar stated.

He added that as a result of the critical situation the nation is in right now, Nigerians should not be upset by the certification and instead should concentrate on development, adding that the nation’s population is growing at a rate of 3% annually.

”The economic challenges we are facing – we shouldn’t be wasting time about whether a certificate, whether there is a T missing or an I hasn’t been dotted. That shouldn’t be our primary focus at the moment,” he said.

Reacting to Ajayi and Tuggar’s statements, Mazi Ibe said: “The Foreign Affairs Minister is irresponsible. How can you, a foreign affairs minister, say that kind of thing? Is he validating forgery and perjury?

That is actually the outcome of the deposition yesterday (Tuesday) that Tinubu forged the certificate he submitted to the INEC for the 2023 election. His comment is very irresponsible and shameful.”

Asked if Atiku would approach the Supreme Court with the CSU’s disclosure on Tinubu, Ibe said, “that is up to the lawyers. I am sure they are working on that.”

Atiku has up to today (October 5) to file fresh evidence at the apex court as part of appeal against the affirmation of President Tinubu’s election by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, PEPT.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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