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Tinubu’s speech at Chatham House contradicts Keyamo’s attempt to defend certificate forgery case

Judge Nancy Maldonado, however, compelled CSU to release Mr Tinubu’s record leading to the deposition that exposed Mr Tinubu’s forgery.

• October 8, 2023
Bola Tinubu, CSU and Festus Keyamo
Bola Tinubu, CSU and Festus Keyamo

In an attempt to defend President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University certificate forgery, Nigerian aviation minister, Festus Keyamo, says Mr Tinubu obtained his certificate from a third-party vendor, contradicting Mr Tinubu’s earlier claim that he obtained his original replacement certificate from the U.S.-based university.


Mr Keyamo, in a tweet on Sunday, argued that “so long as the University openly said THEY DO NOT ISSUE REPLACEMENT CERTIFICATES, BUT THAT VENDORS DO SO ON THEIR BEHALF, all these noise about so-called forgery are useless until THE PARTICULAR VENDOR THAT ISSUED the replacement certificate to @officialABAT denies its authenticity. And it is the duty of the accuser to fish out the said vendor and get that evidence. It is not the other way round. He who alleges must prove.”


“Chicago State University where I graduated has attested to that. Now I can announce that I’ve received my original replacement degree certificate from them,” Mr Tinubu said when speaking at the Chatham House in 2022.


Mr Keyamo’s statement contradicting Mr Tinubu’s comes as the lawyer-turned-politician tries to explain his old tweet regarding forgery, which was dug up by Nigerians on the X platform. 


Amid legal tussle on former President Muhammadu Buhari’s WAEC certificate in 2019, Mr Keyamo, a lawyer and state minister of labour then, wrote on his X account: “Forgery occurs when the supposed author of a document denies ever making it or denies its authenticity. WAEC has confirmed the authenticity of PMB’s certificate by issuing an attestation of it. Case closed.”

Though posted in 2019 in defence of his former boss Mr Buhari, Mr Keyamo’s old tweet explaining forgery supports CSU’s deposition, as Caleb Westberg, the registrar at CSU, 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.

With CSU’s deposition, decades of controversy shrouded in secrecy on Mr Tinubu’s academic records assumed another dimension as Nigerians urged the Supreme Court to sack and jail Mr Tinubu. 

In early August, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party approached the U.S. court to compel CSU to release Mr Tinubu’s academic record which has been a subject of controversy shrouded in secrecy for decades.


Mr Tinubu pushed back praying the court not to compel CSU to release all his academic records because it would cause him irreparable damages. Judge Nancy Maldonado, however, compelled CSU to release Mr Tinubu’s record leading to the deposition that exposed Mr Tinubu’s forgery.


Mr Abubakar in a world press conference on Thursday, said his pursuit for justice to save Nigeria’s image and will not back down until the Supreme Court declares its verdict on the matter.

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