THE Chicago State University (CSU) has once again affirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu graduated from the institution.
The university made the affirmation in a response to an inquiry by The ICIR on Monday.
Caleb Westberg, a Registrar in the Office of Records and Registration in the institution, said Tinubu attended the university from August 1977 to June 1979.
“Please be advised that Bola A. Tinubu attended Chicago State University from August 1977 to June 1979,” he said.
“He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with Honors on June 22, 1979.”
While at the CSU, Westberg noted that Tinubu’s major was in accounting.
Tinubu’s academic qualifications and records have in recent times become a subject of controversy especially as the country goes into the 2023 presidential election.
A copy of a sworn affidavit in support of his nomination form for the presidential election, which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), surfaced in the media last week.
In the affidavit, Tinubu said his academic certificates were stolen by unknown persons while he was in self-exile for four years.
“I went on self-exile from October 1994 to October 1998 (and) when I returned, I discovered that my property, including all the documents relating to my qualifications and my certificates in respect of paragraph 3 above were looted by unknown persons,” he stated.
In 1999, some newspapers published a petition that alleged that Tinubu had perjured and forged the credentials he submitted to INEC for his governorship election.
The allegations, according to Tinubu’s former spokesperson, Segun Ayobolu, were that “there was a discrepancy in the age of the governor since the profile published during his inauguration stated that he was born in 1952 and the age on his transcript at the Chicago State University claimed that he was born in 1954” and “that the governor did not attend Government College, Ibadan, as was stated in his profile and INEC FORM CF.001; and (3) the governor did not attend the University of Chicago as claimed in INEC FORM CF and an affidavit sworn to at the Ikeja High Court of Justice on 29th December 1998”.
In response to the allegations, the late human rights lawyer and activist, Gani Fawehinmi, pursued a case of certificate forgery and perjury against Tinubu until the Supreme Court dismissed the suit on technical grounds that the governor could not be prosecuted because of his constitutional immunity at the time.
The court ruled that it was only the Lagos State house of assembly that had the power to investigate Tinubu and punish him for any offences.
The House under the leadership of Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora, the current minister of health, constituted a five-member ad hoc committee to investigate the allegations following a motion moved by Tajudeen Jaiyeola Agoro, a member representing Lagos Mainland Constituency on September 21, 1999.
The committee comprised Babajide Omoworare (Chairman), Thomas Ayodele Fadeyi, Adeniyi Akinmade, Ibrahim Gbola Gbabijo and Saliu Olaitan Mustapha.
In its report the committee stated that it “deemed it fit to invite the petitioners and therefore wrote the petitioners. The letters were sent by courier. The petitioners did not attend the hearing and we have not heard from them up till now.
“We visited their address at 62 Balogun Street, West, Lagos and 5, Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, September 22, 1999 and found out that the petitioners neither reside nor carry on any business at the addresses. Hence, we concluded that the petition was written in fictitious names. Attached herewith and marked “Annexures 1 and 2” are pictures of the buildings bearing the above addresses taken when the Committee visited the addresses. Also attached and marked “Annexxures 3 and 4″ are copies of the evidence of courier of the letters forwarded to the fictitious Petitioners”.
The committee noted that Tinubu appeared before it on September 23, 1999, alongside his counsel, Femi Falana.
According to the report, Tinubu took “full responsibility” for some “needless errors” which he said formed the basis of the allegations against him.
“The governor told the Committee that as a result of the acrimonious primaries of the Alliance for Democracy in Lagos State and its attendant crisis, the information contained in both the INEC form and affidavit of loss of certificates was supplied by Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.
“The governor then submitted to the Committee a copy of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) senatorial candidate form dated June 1, 1992, which he used to contest the 1992 senatorial election as candidate of the party for Lagos West. In the form, which he personally filled, the governor attached the certificates of Richard Daley College and Chicago State University. For his educational qualifications he filled B.Sc Accounting only.
*This according to him demonstrated that “needless errors” spotted in the 1999 INEC form were not consistent and that they were ‘genuine errors’. He further directed the attention of the committee to the INEC form CFO1 that bore a wrong date of twenty-eight December 1999 instead of twenty-eight December 1998. The error he said was made by INEC which printed the form. And not even the Commissioner of Oath detected the error. This in his view further confirmed that the hurried and confused manner under which the preparations for the governorship primaries of 1998 were made gave room to error on all sides.”
Tinubu also disowned, before the committee, the information in the INEC filings that he attended primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.