A top official of the Chicago State University (CSU), Mr Carl Westberg has disclosed that a replacement copy of the Diploma certificate, President Bola Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to secure final clearance for participation in the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), was not from the institution.
Westberg, who is a Registrar in CSU, speaking under oath specifically told the court that he was seeing the Diploma certificate copy for the very first time in the instant proceedings.
Westberg was subpoenaed as a witness to testify on oath on the order of Judge Nancy Maldonado to back up the order for release of the academic documents of Tinubu to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
In compliance with the order of the court, Westberg who testified on oath claimed that Tinubu’s Diploma certificate, which he claimed to have obtained from the university and which he used to secure clearance for participation in the presidential election is not a document of the university.
For example, the witness admitted that the institution had no board of trustees in 1979, as against the claim in the certificate Tinubu submitted to the electoral body.
When pressed on the signatures on other certificates issued in 1979 and the one Tinubu submitted to INEC, the witness admitted variations in signature, logo, and seal.
Specifically, Westberg pointed out that the signature on the replacement certificate of Tinubu matches certificates issued in the 1990s and not those of 1979, as claimed by the president.
Meanwhile, a certified true copy of the deposition and cross examination is expected to be handed over to Atiku to further establish his allegation of the forgery of documents against Tinubu.
Recall that the final leg of Atiku’s case, seeking disqualification of Tinubu from the 2023 presidential election, is now pending before the Supreme Court of Nigeria for final verdict.
Atiku Abubakar, who participated in the February 25, 2023, presidential election along with Tinubu, had challenged the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the election on various grounds.
Among the grounds are that Tinubu was not qualified to have stood for the election on the grounds that he submitted forged documents on oath to INEC to secure eligibility.
In pursuit of his claim, Atiku had applied to a US District Court to issue an order compelling the CSU to release the academic records of Tinubu to him for verification and authentication of the genuineness of Tinubu’s document submitted to the electoral body.
Following his success at the US court, the CSU was ordered to release the academic records to him and to back up the release of the documents with deposition by an official of the institution.