Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has joined othersdemanding complete transparency concerning President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic records as allegations of identity fraud continued to swirl.
National Coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwuniko, said that the controversy surrounding Tinubu’s educational history took a fresh twist as he recently sought legal action to prevent the release of certain confidential information.
HURIWA, in a media statement, yesterday, noted that the criticality of the issue lay in its potential to uncover identity fraud, emphasising that the full disclosure of President Tinubu’s academic records was essential to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and upholding democratic values.
“In a recent legal development that has captured widespread public attention, President Bola Tinubu finds himself at the center of a controversy as he petitions United States District Judge Nancy Maldonado to restrict Chicago State University (CSU) from releasing confidential educational records, including admission documents, transcripts, and gender-related information.
“In a surprising twist, President Tinubu consented to disclosing only his certificate to the legal team of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. The core of this legal dispute revolves around Atiku Abubakar’s pursuit of transparency regarding President Tinubu’s academic qualifications, particularly his alleged enrollment at Chicago State University, where he claimed he attended.
“With Nigerians demanding full disclosure, President Tinubu’s resistance has cast a cloud of uncertainty over his educational background,” he said, underscoringthe importance of transparency in the governance of any nation.
He cited Nigeria’s constitutional protection of the right to access information under Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution, contending also that Nigerian citizens had an inherent right to know the educational background of their political leaders, particularly presidential aspirants, as this information could significantly impact their ability to lead the nation effectively.
He said, “Given that President Tinubu wasn’t prodded to tender the certificate or information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the first place, the organisation argued that full disclosure of President Tinubu’s academic records from CSU aligns with the principles of open government and upholds the public’s right to know.”