Saturday, March 2, 2024

Supreme Court: Netizens want Tinubu sacked, jailed over forged Chicago State University certificate

If Mr Tinubu is sacked, he would be the first Nigerian president to be sacked by the Supreme Court.

• October 4, 2023
TInubu and forged certificate
TInubu and forged certificate

Following the revelation that the Chicago State University certificate that President Bola Tinubu presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission was forged, many have charged the Supreme Court of Nigeria to sack and jail Mr Tinubu. 

Prolonged legal tussle on Mr Tinubu’s controversial academic record reached a crescendo after CSU, in a deposition on Tuesday, revealed that it did not issue the certificate Mr Tinubu presented to Nigeria’s electoral body.  

Caleb Westberg, the CSU registrar, said Mr Tinubu’s certificate, dated June 22, 1979, and tendered to INEC on June 17, 2022, was not issued by the school, and its administrators could, therefore, not be able to authenticate its source, Peoples Gazette reported.

CSU’s deposition has sparked reactions among social media users, with many calling for Mr Tinubu’s ouster in line with the Nigerian Constitution.

Section 137 (1)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution (amended in 2010) specifically stated that no one would be legitimately elected president of Nigeria if the person “has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

Citing the Nigerian Constitution, a lawyer, Abdul Mahmood, on X said, “The CSU DEPOSITIONS have finally shown that the certificate, dated June 22, 1979, BAT submitted to INEC on June 17, 2022, was NOT issued by the University. 

“With Tinubu having submitted a forged certificate to INEC, a specious part of the BAT certificate conundrum will now be addressed by the Supreme Court and with specific regards to Section 137(1)(j) of the Constitution, 1999: ‘137. (1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of president if – (j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission’.”

X user @firstladyship said, “Bola Ahmed Tinubu & Kashim Shettima must be disqualified by the Supreme Court, on the ground of certificate forgery. The 1999 Constitution is clear on what must happen. I call on fellow Nigerians to join me in calling for their disqualification.”

“Certificate forgery is still a crime in Nigeria,” another netizen, @TheFavouredWoman, said, adding that “section 463 of the Criminal Code stipulates a three-year imprisonment sentence for forgery. While Sections 362 to 364 of the Penal Code address forgery offences, with penalties reaching up to 14 years of imprisonment.”

@BOGbadams said, “If Tinubu’ is not removed by the Supreme Court, he will be forced out by the people. Nigerians are fed up with him and his entire gang.”

@JaypeeGeneral urged that “the Nigerian Supreme Court must stand up and save the nation from this embarrassment. It is time for the apex court to move away from technicalities and start delivering political judgment on merits. Nigeria cannot have a liar, drug dealer, certificate forger, etc., as her number one citizen.”

Mr Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election on March 1, but several controversies have dogged his emergence, including allegations of forgery and perjury. 

On September 6, the presidential election petitions tribunal threw out all petitions by Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party 2023 presidential candidate and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, affirming Mr Tinubu’s victory. This development saw the duo approach the Supreme Court to appeal the case. 

Before tribunal judgment, Mr Atiku had in August requested court approval to subpoena Mr Tinubu’s files domiciled with CSU because he believed the documents would clarify glaring inconsistencies in Mr Tinubu’s background, including publicly available documents that suggested the CSU in the 1970s admitted a female student bearing Bola Tinubu who was born on March 29, 1954.

In a pushback against Mr Atiku’s legal move, which could expose his academic record, Mr Tinubu had also filed a motion to prevent a federal court in the United States from releasing his university academic records to Mr Abubakar, his principal opponent in the 2023 presidential election. 

Mr Tinubu argued that releasing his complete academic records could cause him irreparable damages. But the court granted Mr Atiku’s request, compelling CSU to release Mr Tinubu’s academic records, followed by Tuesday’s deposition that revealed Mr Tinubu forged the CSU certificate he presented to the INEC. 

If Mr Tinubu is sacked, he would be the first Nigerian president to be sacked by the Supreme Court. 

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