US court order on Tinubu’s CSU academic records a national disgrace – Ex-Minister


A former Minister of Aviation,
Chief Osita Chidoka, has said a United States Court order directing the Chicago
State University to release the academic records of President Bola Tinubu to
the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023
elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is a national disgrace.


The former Corps Marshal of the
Federal Road Safety Commission further observed that it was worrisome that
authorities such as the Department of State Services, National Intelligence
Agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Embassy of
Nigeria with its staff in Washington DC could not unravel the circumstances
over the academic history of the President, leaving the daunting task for Atiku
to do.


He said this in a statement, on
Sunday, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent.


“That all the aforementioned
institutions allowed a man to be sworn in without definitive statements about
his qualifications is a national tragedy. For 23 years, the issue of President
Tinubu has been a recurring decimal in our national equation. Under his reign,
a current youth corps member is serving as minister, and people under
investigation by the EFCC and made public are sitting in the Federal Executive
Council. And they all passed through security screening.”


A United States District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois had, on Saturday, ruled in favour Atiku,
and ordered that the Chicago State University should release President Tinubu’s
academic record to the former vice president by Monday, October 2.


According to him, the leadership
and relevant institutions of this country should bow their heads in shame, if
eventually it was discovered the occupier of the nation’s number one office
forged his certificates, stressing that the development was both a national and
international embarrassment.


He said, “I speak as a Nigerian.
That it took the courageous activism of HE. Abubakar Atiku to force the
discovery of information concerning the President of Nigeria is a disgrace to
our national institutions.


“As a nation, we have a full
retinue of staff at the Department of the State Services, the National
Intelligence Agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Embassy
of Nigeria with the full complement of staff in Washington DC and the Nigerian
judiciary that have variously ruled on matters concerning President Tinubu’s
academic qualifications. Yet, we can not have a definitive conclusion about
whether he has the academic qualifications he claimed he had or not.


“The office of the President of
Nigeria is so important both in its moral authority and its strategic
importance to our national security and safety that nobody who has possible
blind spots that can make him or her a potential asset for foreign intelligence
or governments should be allowed a mile near that office. This should be a
primary burden on all our national institutions. Legal technicalities and
silence by state institutions should be deemed high treason.


“It highlights my previous
statement that a constitution amendment to finish all electoral cases before
the assumption of office is now a matter of urgent national priority. The
current disgraceful proceedings against a Nigerian President in a foreign court
under election petition matters are damaging to our collective moral and legal
standing as a people.


“If it turns out tomorrow that
our President presented a forged certificate to INEC, Nigerians will bow down
their heads globally in shame. On the other hand, if it turns out that his
certificate is genuine, again our reputation as a people is still in tatters
because of the failure of national institutions to perform due diligence no
matter who is involved. On both counts, it reinforces global perceptions and
prejudice against Nigerians. We all bear the burden.


 “A forged certificate finding leaves President
Tinubu in a vulnerable position morally and legally. As he did not present
primary and secondary certificates to INEC, a forged CSU certificate makes him
unqualified to stand for the office of President as he does not possess the
minimum qualification S.131(D) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Of course,
the next issue is the case of perjury, the presentation of false documents
under oath.


“How  INEC accepted a university degree without the
qualifying certificates would continue to be a national mystery. A language in
our electoral legislation to forestall such obvious infractions is required.


“The decision of the District
Court and the whole proceedings is not a moment of triumphalism but a sober
moment of introspection. It is a moment when as a nation we ask ourselves.”


It added, “What are our national


Who or which institution should
have ordered the full investigation of the questionable certificate?


“Considering that he did not
present a primary or secondary certificate, should our courts be concerned with
the technicality of the tendering process of the CSU certificate or the
disgrace and global moral damage a forged certificate would have wrought on


The former minister queried why
did the nation’s security system could not conduct a discrete investigation and
advise the candidate and INEC about the status of his certificate.


“A few years ago, the DSS, in an
act of institutional independence and courage, 
wrote to the Senate to reject Police Commissioner Ibrahim Magu as the
EFCC chairman not minding his nomination by a sitting President. This was based
on their intelligence report of his nefarious conduct that pales into
insignificance against a possible forgery case by a President. Why the silence


“For me, the issue is beyond legalism.
If and that is a big if, the certificate is forged, President Tinubu should
resign immediately. It is not a legal matter but a national honour and moral
issue. If he does not, the National Assembly should do the needful to restore
our dignity as a people. I also expect the Supreme Court to rise to the
occasion and restore order to our electoral process.”


Chidoka said, “If the certificate
is not forged, the President should conduct a wide-ranging reorganisation of
our national security system for failure to save the country from this needless
embarrassment and reputational damage.”


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