The Chicago State University (CSU) has released the academic records of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu following the request by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election in line with an Illinois, United States (U.S.) court order.
In the ongoing legal inquiry, Chicago State University (CSU) officially responded to a Revised Subpoena to Produce Documents, dated September 13, 2023.
The subpoena particularly targets details of any diplomas issued in 1979, especially any awarded to Mr. Tinubu who is currently Nigeria’s president.
The Subpoena’s Key Points
The Revised Subpoena to Produce Documents made several specific demands to which CSU has offered its formal responses. Here are the key highlights:
Request No. 1
The first request demanded a “true and correct copy of any diploma for a Bachelor of Science degree issued by CSU in 1979.”
CSU’s Response: After conducting a diligent search, CSU has provided copies of documents Bates labelled CSU 0001 through CSU 0007. Students’ names have been redacted to respect privacy concerns.
Request No. 2
The second request asked for “a true and correct copy of any diploma issued by CSU in 1979 to Mr. Tinubu.”
CSU’s Response: CSU claims it does not typically keep copies of student diplomas and, after diligent search, could not locate a copy of Mr. Tinubu’s 1979 diploma. Thus, no documents were produced in response to this particular request.
Request No. 3
The third request asked for diplomas from 1979, other than Mr. Tinubu’s, with “the same font, seal, signatures, and wording.”
CSU’s Response: Documents Bates labelled CSU 0008 through CSU 0010 were produced. These documents were redacted to maintain student privacy. Additionally, CSU produced other diplomas, Bates labelled as CSU 0011 and CSU 0012, which match the format of Mr. Tinubu’s replacement diploma dated June 27, 1997.
Request No. 4
The final request wanted “true and correct copies of any CSU documents relating to Mr. Tinubu that were certified by Jamar C. Orr, Esq.”
CSU’s Response: Responsive documents certified by Mr. Orr have been produced and are Bates labelled CSU 0013 through CSU 0032. CSU also clarified that a prior objection to this request regarding communications was sustained by the court.
Documents released: The university also presented to Atiku’s legal team, a cache of documents connected to Mr. Tinubu’s education at the institution and copies of certificates with redacted names issued to other persons about the same time the Nigerian president finished from the school in 1979.
- It also contained Mr Tinubu’s admission records, and a letter dated 27 June 2022 confirming that he attended the university from August 1977 and June 1979 majoring in accounting.
Included in the document released was another addressed to whom it may concern, letter dated June 27th, 2022, and signed by the Office of the Registrar also appears to confirm Bola A. Tinubu was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Honours on 22 June 1979.
- “Please be advised that Bola A. Tinubu attended Chicago State University from August 1977 through June 1979. He majored in accounting and was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration wit Honors on June 22, 1979.
Sincerely, Office of the Registrar
What this means: The release of the documents appears to suggest CSU is confirming that Bola Ahmed Tinubu graduated from the school in 1979 based on the certificates of other students which it said match the format of Mr. Tinubu’s replacement diploma dated June 27, 1997.
- However, the absence of Bola Tinubu’s original diploma after a diligent search by CSU continues to raise eyebrows among the critics of the president who believe the document release did not exonerate the president.
- It is also expected that both legal teams (Tinubu and Atiku respectively) will continue to review the documents ahead of the appeal hearing at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, supporters of Atiku and Tinubu have taken to social media to express their opinions on the document release.
- While Tinubu’s supporters view the release as confirmation that the president did attend CSU, those siding with Atiku argue that the document raises questions about the authenticity of the president’s claim to have attended the university.
- Some critics also pointed to a Southwest College document (which was among the documents released) that captured “Bola A. Tinubu” as female as additional evidence of potential foul play.
- However, copies of the CSU document also captured Bola A. Tinubu as male.
- Comments across various platforms, such as X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram, reveal heated debates as both sides continue to push their respective narratives.
Interestingly, both Tinubu and Atiku have remained silent, issuing no official statements 24 hours after the document was made public.
CSU released the documents to Atiku on Monday, complying with an order from the United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois.
The U.S. District Judge dismissed President Tinubu’s objection, thus paving the way for the document’s release.
Note: This article was updated to reflect new information.
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