Presidency and Atiku Clash Over Validity of Tinubu’s INEC Certificate Submission

The Presidency has vehemently denied allegations of forgery regarding the certificate presented by President Bola Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for his 2023 presidential candidacy.

Temitope Ajayi, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, released a statement, asserting that Chicago State University (CSU) had not declared Tinubu’s certificate submitted to INEC as counterfeit in any of its depositions. He further argued that the university, under oath, confirmed Tinubu’s attendance and graduation from the institution while clarifying that the university itself does not handle the replacement of lost certificates.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, echoed this sentiment by emphasizing that the President’s administration does not have time to engage in “trivial matters” and considers the current focus on Atiku’s allegations as distractions. Tuggar noted that these controversies do not overshadow the President’s recent international engagements.

However, Paul Ibe, Special Adviser to former Vice President and PDP’s 2023 presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, countered Tuggar’s stance as “irresponsible and shameful.” He argued that, based on CSU’s records, Tinubu had indeed forged the documents.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party expressed regret over the ongoing controversies surrounding Tinubu’s academic records, suggesting that these disputes were damaging Nigeria’s reputation among the international community. The party stated that it would await the Supreme Court’s verdict on the matter before taking a final stance.

Ajayi’s rebuttal came in response to reports indicating that Chicago State University had testified that the Nigerian President had presented a forged degree certificate to INEC when filing his candidacy paperwork in June 2022. Ajayi emphasized that no one can forge a certificate they already possess and highlighted that forgery typically involves fabricating documents that one does not legitimately own.

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