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Atiku says Fawehinmi inspired me to go after Tinubu CSU certificate



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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said the late human rights activist Gani Fawehinmi inspired him to make inquiries about the certificate of President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku had filed a suit against President Bola Tinubu over his academic record at Chicago State University.

He requested the documents to back his allegation of forgery of the CSU certificate against Tinubu.

In the lawsuit Atiku filed to contest Tinubu’s election, the presidential election court dismissed the claim of forgery as one of the allegations.

Despite the court’s ruling, Atiku continued his case at the US court, hoping to get official documents to back his claim and possibly include them in his appeal at the Supreme Court.

He had argued that there were discrepancies in the certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC, which should have rendered him ineligible to contest the election.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Atiku said it should not have taken weeks or months for security agencies to verify the certificates of candidates who present themselves for higher office.

“The reputation of Nigeria is at stake. I am a democrat by conviction and a citizen of a country that I love.”

“I must thank our lawyers, both here and abroad, for helping us bring clarity to this issue that has dragged on for about half a century. The late human rights activist Gani Fawehinmi has vindicated us. Now he can truly rest in peace, knowing that the journey he started 23 years ago is on course.

“In line with this, therefore, I am calling on all well-meaning Nigerians, leaders of thought, our religious leaders, our traditional leaders, our community leaders, our political leaders, and in particular, Governor Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP, the leaders of every political party in Nigeria, and, indeed, every single person who loves this country, as I do, and who wishes nothing but the best for the country, as I do, to join me in this campaign to enshrine probity, accountability, and the basic principles of justice, morality, and uprightness in our country and in our government. This is a task for each and every one of us.”

On October 7, 1999, Fawehinmi filed an order at the Federal High Court, Lagos, to compel security operatives to investigate criminal allegations he made against Tinubu, who was then governor of Lagos State.

Tinubu had made the claim of loss of certificates in his filings with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1999.

He, however, stated in 1999 that he attended St. Paul Children’s Home School, Ibadan, from 1958 to 1964 and Government College, Ibadan (GCI) from 1965 to 1968 before proceeding to Richard Daley College, Chicago, from 1969 to 1971 and the University of Chicago.

In the court documents, Fawehinmi prayed for the court to order security personnel to look into the allegations against Tinubu, who had previously received a clean bill of health from the Lagos House of Assembly.

“An order of mandamus compelling the respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, or otherwise, to investigate the applicant’s complaint of false statements on oath and false declarations made under oath by Mr. Bola Tinubu as contained in the two documents, that is, Independent National Electoral Commission Form CF001 declared and verified under oath by Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu (now Governor of Lagos State) before the Commissioner for Oaths at the High Court Registry, Ikeja, on December 28, 1998,” the court document had read.

“And an affidavit entitled Affidavit in Respect of Lost Certificates Sworn to by Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu (now Governor of Lagos State) before the Commissioner for Oath at the High Court Registry, Ikeja, on December 29, 1998.”

The court, in its judgement, however, ruled that Tinubu, as then-sitting governor, could not be tried as he enjoyed immunity from prosecution. The Appeal Court also upheld the judgement of the lower court.

The late legal luminary then went to the Supreme Court, and the high court decided that even though Tinubu enjoyed immunity from prosecution, the police could look into the claim and try him after his tenure.

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