The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday dismissed the efforts of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to obtain the academic records of President Bola Tinubu from the Chicago State University in the United States, describing it as “an expedition in futility.”
The ruling party said it had nothing to fear as the President had always boasted that he had nothing to hide.
This came after Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to Atiku, through his counsel, Angela Liu, within two days.
Documents sought by Atiku include Tinubu’s record of admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance, and degrees, awards, and honors attained.
Despite the development, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Duro Meseko, said the ruling party was not bothered by the court order, stressing that the President had nothing to hide.
He said, “The President has always said over and again that he has nothing to hide. His records are there for all to see. Chicago University has also written severally to say that this man is from us. Nothing has changed. There is no cause for alarm. It is an expedition in futility.”
The Presidency responded to Tinubu’s academic record by saying that it was irrelevant to Atiku and his party, who were wasting their time on a futile pursuit.
According to a presidential aide who did not want to be named, this was because Atiku, who came second in the presidential election, could not bring any new evidence to court other than what he had already presented before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which gave its verdict in favour of Tinubu on September 6.
The official said, “After getting the President’s records, how will that help Atiku’s case? The university has not recanted its often-stated position that President Tinubu graduated in 1979 from the school.
“Atiku and PDP are chasing shadows. The President’s academic records have no probable value to Atiku’s case in court. At Supreme Court, you can’t plead new evidence outside what you frontloaded at the court of first instance which is the Appeal Court that has decided on the Presidential election petition.’’
Atiku had sought an order from the US court to compel the CSU to disclose Tinubu’s academic records.
He claimed that Tinubu’s academic records were falsified.
Tinubu’s credentials showed that he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Accounting and Management from CSU in 1979, but there have been allegations of inconsistencies with his certificate.
Durojaiye Ogunsanya, a public affairs analyst, said he was Tinubu’s classmate at the CSU last week.
He said on a TVC programme that he and the President graduated from the Department of Accounting and Business Administration in 1979.
“We met in a school in Chicago State; we were in the same department, College of Accounting, Business and Administration, with majors in Accounting, and we were in the same class together and graduated. He did attend the university and graduated in 1979 as I did. So I’m here to testify that he did attend the university, and he was a good student,” he clarified.