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Alleged Certificate Forgery: Tinubu is as clean and white as snow — Keyamo



The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has defended President Bola Tinubu against the forgery allegation levelled against him (Tinubu) by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar.

Keyamo (SAN) described Tinubu as being “as clean and white as snow on this issue”, while noting “…we are again waiting for them at the Supreme Court”.

This is as he stated that the Chicago State University certificate President Bola Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission was secured from a third-party vendor.

The former chief spokesman of the dissolved Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council made the statement via his official X account on Sunday.

The development is coming after the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, filed new documents against Tinubu before the Supreme Court in which he accused the President of forgery and lying under oath, and should therefore be disqualified and removed from office.

The evidence filed by the former vice president was the academic records of Tinubu, which were handed over to him by the Chicago State University on Monday following the order of an Illinois court in the United States of America instructing the institution to release the academic records as requested by Atiku.

The PDP candidate had requested the documents for use in Nigerian courts to support his argument that Tinubu forged a certificate he claimed to have obtained from the CSU in 1979 and submitted to the country’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, for the 2023 presidential election.

But Keyamo insisted that all the sentiments and allegations of forgery being peddled around the president’s credentials were baseless, adding that it was the duty of Atiku and his supporters to get the undisclosed vendor that issued the replacement certificate to deny its authenticity.

He said, “I have been a defence and prosecution lawyer at the highest level in criminal trials for more than 30 years. You cannot allege or prove forgery except the purported maker of the document denies its authenticity or there is uncontradicted evidence of a forensic report that categorically says the document was deliberately altered or concocted by the person who uttered (in a legal sense) or issued it.

“Applying this principle to the case of Atiku Abubakar Vs Chicago State University, so long as the university openly said they do not issue replacement certificates. But (added) that vendors do so on their behalf. All these noise about so-called forgery are useless until the particular vendor that issued the replacement certificate to Tinubu denies its authenticity. And it is the duty of the accuser to fish out the said vendor and get that evidence. It is not the other way around. He who alleges must prove.”

According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, it was the same basic principle he deployed in defence of former President Muhammed Buhari when a similar scenario played out during his tenure.
While reiterating that Tinubu has no case to answer, Keyamo sarcastically urged Atiku to quietly bow out of politics.

“This is the simple principle I laid down in 2019 during our defence of President Buhari that has been so mischievously celebrated as if they have hit the bull’s eye. Unfortunately for them, Tinubu is as clean and white as snow on this issue and we are again waiting for them at the Supreme Court.

“As for Atiku Abubakar (the famed SPV king and the one who disgraced Nigeria internationally with the money-laundering case involving Congressman William Jefferson), we acknowledge the valedictory speech he delivered a few days ago signifying his retirement from politics and we wish him Godspeed in that retirement,” he stated.

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