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2023: Uproar On Social Media Over Tinubu’s Academic Qualifications

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  • There has been an uproar on social media over Tinubu’s academic qualifications. 

THE NATION REPORTERS reports that there has been an uproar on social media over the academic qualifications of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Tinubu had told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that his academic certificates were stolen by unknown persons while he was on self exile.

Tinubu, a former Lagos State Governor, was one of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Chieftains who fled the country under the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.

Abacha had clamped down on academics, activists and other technocrats opposed to his regime.

In his sworn affidavit in support of his nomination form for the office of the president, Tinubu said he “went on self exile from October 1994 to October 1999 (and) when I returned and discovered that my property including all the documents relating to my qualification and my certificates in respect of paragraph 3 above were looted by unknown persons.”

While Tinubu skipped information regarding his primary and secondary education in the INEC form, he, however, said he attended University of Chicago between 1972 and 1976, where he obtained B.Sc in Economics.

He also said he had B.Sc in Business and Administration, as well as certificate in Public Account.

Tinubu’s latest claims appear to contradict his previous election submissions, especially in 1999, when he ran and won the Lagos State governorship election.

He had said then that he attended St Paul Children’s Home School, Ibadan, between 1958 and 1964; while his secondary education was at Government College Ibadan (GCI), between 1965 and 1968.

Following a backlash, the former governor withheld his primary and secondary schools academic records when he recontested in 2003.

He had claimed that from Ibadan, he proceed to Richard Daley College, Chicago, from 1969 to 1971.

He finally said he attended both Chicago State University and the University of Chicago.

All the submissions were, however, challenged as fraudulent by a prominent Nigerian lawyer, late Gani Fawehinmi.

Fawehinmi, who argued the matter up to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the case on technical grounds.

In his forms, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presented the Master’s degree he obtained in 2021, as his highest educational qualification.

Reactions

A civil rights organization. Center for Reform and Public Advocacy, has given the Inspector-General of Police a 48- hour ultimatum within which he should arrest and initiate criminal prosecution against Tinubu, for allegedly supplying false academic qualifications to secure the nomination.

The organisation threatened that should the IGP fail to act, court action would be instituted against him for an order of mandamus to compel him to effect the arrest of Tinubu at the end of the ultimatum.

The Legal Adviser of the CRPA and human rights lawyer, Agu Kalu, issued the threat during a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

But when contacted, the Director (Legal Directorate), Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), told our correspondent that they were ready to defend against the threats and allegations.

He clarified that the APC presidential candidate has complied fully with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He said, “There is nothing to respond to them, the Electoral Act is clear. We are waiting, let them go, let them bring the writ, we will defend it. I think we have gone past this stage of some people on social media, for whatever reason in the media, issuing threats.

“If they have anything, let them bring it. As far as we are concerned, our candidate has complied fully with the provisions of the Electoral Act. If they want to go to court, let them go to court. But we must also let them know that we are not unconscious of the laws of defamation in the country. We know the difference between a court process that is privileged and making unfounded allegations in the Newspapers like they are doing now.

“But honestly, our candidate is not perturbed, he can’t be bothered by all these threats. If they want to go to court, let them go to court. When they come, we will react appropriately to the court process. What we know, we have complied fully with the provisions of the law and we will not be blackmailed and intimidated.”

Kalu alleged that the former Lagos State governor was not legally qualified to become the next President of Nigeria in 2023 on grounds of supplying false information on oath in his form EC 9 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Amongst others, the legal practitioner alleged that in 1999 Bola Tinubu claimed to have attended Saint Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan between 1958 and 1964 and Government College, Ibadan between 1965 and 1969, only to turn around in 2022 that he never attended any primary or secondary school in his EC9 form.

He said, “We wrote a petition to the IG on June 16, demanding the prosecution of Tinubu for providing false information on oath in his INEC form CF 001 which he submitted in 1999.

“Since the IG is yet to act on the petition, we are using this press conference to call on the IG to do the needful, he is not above the law, nobody is above the law, Sections 191 and 192 makes it a criminal offence to provide false information on oath.

“We are also calling on President Buhari to direct the IG to arrest and prosecute Tinubu for perjury, it is a very serious issue.”

He added that in the event Buhari and IG failed to do the needful, the group in conjunction with other civil groups will approach a court of law for judicial review and order of mandamus to order the IG to do the needful.

Kalu who presented a Certified True Copy ad-hoc report of the Lagos State House of Assembly, which investigated the former governor in 1999 said that Tinubu clearly admitted discrepancies in his academic qualifications.

He said that the investigation of Tinubu’s academic qualification in 1999 was the aftermath of a petition written by a foremost legal luminary and social crusader, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).

According to him, CRPA’s petition calling for arrest and prosecution of Tinubu was submitted to the IGP since June 16 and lamented that up till now, the police authority had not deemed it fit to effect his arrest.

Kalu emphasized that nobody was above the law under the constitution and demanded that the police must perform its constitutional role without fear or favour.

The activist said that in the event that he was found to have made false allegations against Tinubu, the Police should arrest him and charge him to court appropriately.

The Abuja lawyer explained that the position of his group for the arrest of Tinubu was not politically motivated but predicated on the need for good governance and transparent leadership Nigeria deserved in the 2023 general election.

Among vital documents attached to the petition delivered to the IGP and acknowledged by his office included the forms submitted to INEC by Tinubu in 1999 and 2022 for verification.

 

Video Of Bode George Saying Tinubu Doesn’t Have Certificate Resurfaces

Hours after a controversy started over the academic history of Tinubu, a video has surfaced online of the former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, challenging Tinubu to present his certificates.

George, a staunch critic of Tinubu, has remained consistent in his claim that Tinubu did not attend Primary and secondary schools.

George’s claim started trending after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published particulars of candidates where Tinubu said the certificates of his primary primary and secondary schools had been stolen.

Immediately after the information went viral, the video of an ARISE TV interview with George began to trend.

In the video, the Lagos PDP leader insisted Tinubu does not have primary and secondary school certificates and that he could bet that the APC candidate did not attend the schools he claimed to have attended.

George alleged that during the 1999 election, Tinubu allegedly said he attended some schools in Ibadan, Oyo state.

In the video, George said, “I can get with any amount of money, let Bola bring out the certificates of his primary school, secondary school and the University he attended. We want to see them. I remember in 1999 when we had the election, when they pulled his paper that he filled with INEC, they now asked him to produce all the papers.

“He said he went to Government College, Ibadan and Children’s Home School in Ibadan, we went there we checked, what year? Nothing. He then quickly came out to say it was Afikuyomi that filled it because if you went to a particular school, you must have friends because you won’t be the only one in that College.”


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