The Chicago State University (CSU) on Tuesday in a deposition on the release of President Bola Tinubu’s academic records noted the certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC might have been produced by “outside vendors”.
A deposition is a witness’s sworn out-of-court testimony. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial. The witness being deposed is called the “deponent.”
Recall that Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had subpoenaed CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records for use in the Nigerian Supreme Court.
Atiku, a former vice president of Nigeria, is challenging the victory of Tinubu in the February 25 election and the affirmation of Tinubu by the petition tribunal as winner of the poll.
He had argued that there were discrepancies in the certificate Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which should have rendered him ineligible to contest the election.
Speaking on the certificate (also called diploma) presented to the INEC by Tinubu, Caleb Westberg, the university registrar and deponent/witness, said he could not comment on it because he did not see it.
“The university only has diplomas that students didn’t pick up in its possession. The university does not typically keep diplomas. I do not have the diploma that was submitted to INEC in our possession,” he said.
Westberg said it is not uncommon for mistakes to be made in data entries from time to time.
“Before CSU, I was at UC, Berkeley and UC, Irving. I’m sure people make mistakes in data entry from time to time,” he said.
The witness also said it is possible that vendors are responsible for the certificate Tinubu submitted to Nigeria’s electoral commission ahead of the vote.
“Some policies have changed over the years. When there is a replacement diploma, it is done by outside vendors,” he said.