Atiku: No Matter New Attempts to Twist Facts, Tinubu’s INEC Certificate is Forgery

*Advises president to tread path of honour by resigning 

*Alleges plan to gag media ahead of FBI’s release of files

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 25 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said, no matter how hard President Bola Tinubu and his agents try to twist the facts, the president remained guilty of forgery.
Atiku, who also alleged that some of the president’s aides had commenced a campaign of propaganda to further confuse Nigerians about the forgery allegations against the president, however, advised Tinubu to tread the path of honour by resigning from his office.

At the same time, Atiku has alleged that the Tinubu administration had already perfected an elaborate and sinister plot to gag the media ahead of the release of the records containing his criminal investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In a statement by his  Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, 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, especially one, 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 (INEC) and swore an affidavit under oath to back up his forgery.

“On page 26 of the deposition, which is publicly available, the Registrar of the 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.’ 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,” he said.

The former vice president added that, “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.
“Indeed, anyone who has taken time to do a thorough reading of the deposition will come to the unambiguous conclusion that the footprints of Tinubu’s odyssey as far as the CSU documents concerned are filled with profound forgeries and abuse of administrative due process.
“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.”

Accordingly, the former vice-president said, the question remained that, “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.

“Another mystery is that in addition to the non-existing Government College Lagos certificate, Tinubu presented a certificate from another school in the United States that belongs to a female candidate and a Cambridge HSC of 1970 – the same year he purportedly graduated from a secondary school in Nigeria.
“Long before the CSU discovery of last week, Tinubu, has had a history of forgery and perjury. In his form CF001, he filed ahead of his governorship election in 1999, Tinubu had claimed albeit fraudulently that he attended St John’s Primary School Aroloya, Government College Ibadan and University of Chicago as different from Chicago State University. 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. President Tinubu must be a man of mystery. No wonder his supporters call him Idan (a distorter).”
The PDP presidential candidate said, it was his contention that at the heart of the forgery scandal against President Tinubu was the question of integrity and morality.

He said, “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.”
Atiku said while supporters of the president were quick to reference his transcript from the Chicago State University as evidence of his studentship in the school, the former vice president said, “we are alarmed how his NYSC certificate bears Bola Adekunle Tinubu, even when the CSU said under oath that the middle name of ‘A’ was never interpreted in any document in his file.”

Atiku, however, maintained that, “Every Nigerian, who has undergone the NYSC programme understands that the names on the NYSC are never a creation of the candidate, but the official name that the student was officially known as, from their tertiary institution.
“Tinubu was allegedly never known as Adekunle at CSU. Thus, the only way to understand how Adekunle was smuggled on his NYSC discharge certificate can only be explained as a forgery. Yet, his media aides will come to the open to make a shameful alternative fact.

“It is even more shameful that just when this whole scandal continues to unfold, media handlers of President Tinubu have, from nowhere, smuggled a middle name of Adekunle into his Wikipedia account. The word Adekunle in Yoruba is a house filled with royalty. But in this instance, we daresay it is a house filled with forgeries.
“It is, therefore, becoming very obvious that there is no end point to how President Tinubu and his spin doctors will continue to use one forgery to cover the other,” Atiku stated.

To this end, Atiku has raised the alarm that the Tinubu administration had already perfected ‘an elaborate and sinister plot’ to gag the media ahead of the release of the records containing his criminal investigations by the FBI.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, Atiku said the Tinubu administration had become frustrated with the Chicago State University scandal that it was planning a massive offensive in the coming days.

Atiku explained that the threat by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction the Arise News Television was only a tip of the iceberg.
He said the NBC had been watching as Tinubu’s media platforms like Television Continental (TVC) had been constantly attacking Atiku and had refused to even air opposition views.

 “Back in February, the NBC tried to show a bit of fairness and fined TVC for unprofessional broadcasts including the airing of the Joint media Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council press briefing, where Festus Keyamo said Obasanjo and Atiku ran a criminal enterprise, and an empire of fraud in Abuja.
 “However, since Tinubu became president on May 29, the NBC has become more partisan than ever. The NBC boss, Balarabe Ilelah, is obviously seeking to retain his appointment and is now dancing to the tune of the APC and their master at the Presidential Villa.

 “The NBC has now been co-opted into a grand plot to gag the media over Tinubu’s certificate scandal. Having lost the battle in the court of public opinion, they are now trying to use the powers of the state to browbeat the media into silence. This is indeed shameful for a man, who claimed to be a hero of the June 12 struggle.

“But this is not the time for the Nigerian media to show any weakness. The trove of documents that the FBI is set to release this month will expose details of the investigation that tied Bola Tinubu to heroin trafficking.
“The dissemination of this information must not be left to social media alone. The media must rise up to its role as the watchdog of society as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 constitution,” saying the hypocrisy of the Tinubu government and the APC-led Senate was legendary.

 He noted that a ministerial nominee from Delta State, Stella Okotete, a director at NEXIM Bank, was denied ministerial confirmation over alleged certificate forgery even though the lady in question had tried so much to defend herself.
He, however, wondered why the standard for the president was lower than that of a ministerial nominee and the youngster, Mmesoma Ejikeme, who forged her JAMB results from a third party vendor.

Shaibu said: “Okotete claimed to have graduated from Benson Idahosa University in 2007 with a second class lower grade in International Studies and Diplomacy and completed the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from Kebbi State in 2009.

“However, amid allegations of certificate forgery, the Senate refused to confirm her while the authorities continued to investigate her. But in the case of Tinubu, who holds the highest office in the land, they want Nigerians to overlook it. They are asking Nigerians to focus on governance instead.

“Isn’t it ironic that the bar has been lowered for the office of the president? Is it not mind-boggling that people, who would not employ even third glass graduates in their private companies are the same ones now defending certificate forgery? The hypocrisy is indeed disturbing.”

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