Chicago State University (CSU) has released the school documents of President Bola Tinubu to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar. This follows Atiku’s legal battle to investigate Tinubu’s academic qualifications in the February 25 presidential election.
Tinubu had submitted certificates from CSU to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to establish his eligibility for the election.
A U.S. court recently ordered CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records in support of Atiku’s petition challenging the 2023 presidential election results.
Justice Nancy Maldonado, in a judgment, dismissed Tinubu’s objection to Atiku’s request and explicitly ordered CSU to provide Atiku with the academic records.
CSU complied with the court’s order on Monday night, revealing that it had located several certificates matching the replacement certificate Tinubu presented to INEC in 1992 after a diligent search of its archives. These certificates have been provided to Atiku.
In response to Atiku’s request, which sought documents containing the same font, seal, signatures, and wording as Tinubu’s certificate, CSU provided the requested documents but redacted the students’ names for privacy reasons.
“At Atiku’s request for Chicago State University (CSU) to provide a copy of Tinubu’s 1979 certificate, the university reiterated its stance that it does not retain copies of student diplomas, let alone those from 1979. Michael D. Hayes, the school’s counsel, stated, ‘CSU does not ordinarily maintain duplicates of student diplomas, and despite an extensive search, we could not locate a copy of the original diploma issued to Mr. Tinubu in 1979. Therefore, we have no documents responsive to this request.’
Atiku’s objective in initiating this investigation in Chicago’s Great Lakes region seemed to be to challenge Tinubu’s attendance at the university and allege the forgery of the certificate. However, it appears that this search has now hit a dead end.
Hayes also confirmed that, as per Atiku’s request, Jamar C. Orr has certified all relevant documents.
Atiku’s request included, ‘True and accurate copies of any CSU documents related to Mr. Tinubu that were certified by Jamar C. Orr, Esq., including documents found in Exhibit D to the Uwais Declaration, as well as all communications to or from CSU regarding the certification of such documents by Jamar C. Orr, Esq., from August 1, 2022, to August 1, 2023.’
In response, Hayes stated, ‘The documents certified by Mr. Orr are enclosed and have been labeled as CSU 0013 through CSU 0032. CSU’s prior objection to the communications aspect of this request was upheld by the Court (as per Doc. 40 at pp. 28-29 and Doc. 54 at p. 32), and therefore, no documents related to that subject are being provided.'”