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Tinubu’s Certificate: 107 senators urge Nigerians to stand behind President Tinubu

Tinubu’s Certificate: 107 senators urge Nigerians to stand behind President Tinubu
President Tinubu

Tinubu’s Certificate: 107 senators urge Nigerians to stand behind President Tinubu

107 non-serving senators have asked for care, respect for the law, and the principles of justice in handling the President Bola Tinubu Chicago State University, CSU, certificate problem as the tension surrounding the situation is disturbing.

The 107 former senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, spoke as APC Non-Serving Senators Group. The former lawmakers, who threw their weight behind the president, said there was a need to “uphold dignity and caution in times of challenge.”

Former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has challenged the Supreme Court to overturn President Tinubu’s victory. He got Tinubu’s academic records from the CSU last week through the courts in the United States of America, and he filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking the court to dismiss Tinubu for, among other things, claimed certificate fraud and perjury.

Atiku alleged that the certificate Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to contest the 2023 presidential election was disclaimed in the certified deposition delivered by Caleb Westberg on behalf of CSU.

He contended that “the presentation of a forged certificate to INEC by a candidate for election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a weighty constitutional matter requiring consideration by the courts as custodians of the Constitution.”

Currently, the issue has been raising dust in the polity, with some backing President Tinubu and others opposing him.

“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 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 altered (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 certificate, but that vendors do so on their behalf,’ all this noise about so-called forgery are useless until the particular vendor that issued the replacement certificate to @officialABAT denies its authenticity.

‘’It is the duty of the accuser to fish out the said vendor and get that evidence. It is not the other way around. He who alleges must prove.

“This is the simple principle I laid down in 2019 during our defence of President Buhari that has been so mischievously celebrated as if they have hit the bull’s eye. Unfortunately for them, @officialABAT is as clean and white as snow on this issue and we are again waiting for them at the Supreme.

‘’As for Atiku Abubakar, we acknowledge the valedictory speech he delivered a few days ago signifying his retirement from politics and we wish him godspeed in that retirement.

‘’Public officers must always bear in mind the cliche that power is transient. They have limited time to make their modest contributions and bow out for others to continue. No one can annex public office as a personal chattel. That’s why I recoil from the razzmatazz of public office.”

Tinubu trying to hide many forgeries – Atiku

In opposition to this, Atiku criticized President Tinubu for what he called his proclivity for forgeries, saying it was saddening that despite the President’s ‘forged’ CSU certificate being made public, his handlers have continued to change his records while attempting to deflect attention from earlier forgeries.

Speaking through his Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, in a statement, in Abuja, yesterday, Atiku said: “Since Tuesday last week when the deposition regarding President Bola Tinubu’s educational qualifications came to the fore in the United States, there have been several attempts to twist the facts of the matter, which deliberately aim to confuse the mind of the public concerning the matter.

“Some media aides to the president have come out openly to ‘push back on the narrative’, while some media houses have persistently slanted their story to justify a corrupted interpretation of the facts in the disposition.

“Sadly, however, the truth of the matter remains that Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, falsified a document he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission and swore an affidavit under oath to back up his forgery.

“On page 26 of the deposition which is publicly available, the Registrar of Chicago State University, Caleb Westberg, under oath, was asked a simple question that, “CSU has determined that it does not have a true and correct copy of the diploma issued to Bola Tinubu in 1979, correct? To which the Registrar responded, “that’s correct.”

Ibe further said: “Also, on page 27, a similar question was put to Mr. Westberg: “So, CSU, after going through every diploma, was unable to find an authentic copy of any diploma that CSU issued to Tinubu in 1979. Is that correct?”

“The CSU Registrar, in his response, said: “We did not find any diploma issued by CSU in 1979 to Mr. Tinubu.” “And coming straight to the specific issue of whether the CSU is aware of or in possession of the diploma that Tinubu submitted to INEC, to which Mr. Westberg simply said, “Correct, we are not aware of it.”

“President Tinubu’s supporters and spin doctors will want to force the narrative of, at least, “Tinubu graduated from the CSU down our throat, even when the narrative has no foothold in logic. “The question remains: How does a candidate graduate from a university that you were never qualified for?

“According to information in the open, President Tinubu applied to the CSU with a pre-qualifying 1970 certificate from Government College Lagos, whereas the school did not come into existence until 1974. Maybe this should make Tinubu the first man ever to have an anticipatory certification from the school four clear years before the founding of the school.

“The late lawyer and human rights icon, Gani Fawehinmi, would have succeeded in bursting him but for the immunity he enjoyed as governor of Lagos State.

“It is our contention that at the heart of the forgery scandal against President Tinubu is the question of integrity and morality. “If the President would not do what is honourable by resigning from office and saving the country an imminent embarrassment, at least his supporters should desist from telling shameful lies to confuse the public.

We must exercise caution, and observe principles of justice — Senators

In a statement issued in response to the situation, the 107 non-serving APC senators said: “We are aware of the current unfounded allegations surrounding President Tinubu’s credentials, which have sparked public discourse and, in some cases, public outrage.

“We believe it is essential to emphasize the need for caution and a commitment to the rule of law during this period. “President Tinubu has been a dedicated leader serving our nation with distinction and integrity for many years. The allegations being fueled by the opposition are a matter before the court of law, and we trust in the judicial process to address these claims fairly and impartially.

“It is not uncommon for world leaders or prominent figures to face challenges and allegations during their careers. History has shown us that allegations, when thoroughly examined, often reveal the truth or innocence of those who serve with honour. We draw inspiration from leaders around the world, who faced adversity but emerged with their integrity intact. We cite some examples of leaders who faced similar trials:

“The former U S President Barack Obama, during his tenure faced unfounded allegations questioning his place of birth and citizenship, notably referred to as the ‘birther’ controversy. We draw important lessons from President Obama’s response to this challenge.

“Despite the baseless nature of the allegations, President Obama remained steadfast in his dedication to governing the United States.

“Narendra Modi-The Prime Minister of India faced allegations related to his educational qualifications during his tenure. His focus remained on governance, and his commitment to India’s development.

“These examples from around the world illustrate that challenges and allegations are not uncommon in the lives of leaders, particularly during moments of responsibility. They also demonstrate the power of truth, the strength of character, and the resilience of leadership. We believe President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will do the same.

“We, therefore, call upon the public to exercise patience and allow the legal process to run its course. Let us refrain from making hasty judgments and spreading negative comments on social media, which can be detrimental to the functioning of our government and the unity of our nation. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains committed to the betterment of Nigeria and its citizens. We believe in his leadership, his dedication to our nation’s progress, and his unwavering determination to overcome any challenge that may arise.

In times of adversity, we must remember that leadership is often tested, our nation’s strength lies in unity and the pursuit of justice.

We stand firmly behind President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and urge all Nigerians to do the same, as we trust that the truth will ultimately prevail.”

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