Both pro- and anti-Tinubu news outlets and blogs are selectively reporting the documents that Chicago State University handed over to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday. Here are 6 non-partisan tidbits I discovered from poring over them:
1. Chicago State University’s Office of the Registrar affirmed that Bola A. Tinubu indeed attended the university “from August 1977 through June 1979” and was “awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Honors on June 22, 1979.”
The registrar also swore to this under oath. The penalty for lying under oath in America can be steep. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
This information is consistent with my September 2, 2023, column titled, “Tinubu Definitely Graduated from Chicago State University.”
2. The certificate (we call it “diploma” in the US) that Tinubu submitted to INEC is inconsistent with the certificates CSU issued in 1979 and subsequently, indicating that Tinubu forged his. (In the US, diplomas are mere ceremonial documents that most employers don’t ask for.
Transcripts directly from universities are the usual ways to verify attendance and graduation.)
Although he did legitimately graduate from Chicago State University in 1979, he obviously lost his certificate and, instead of applying for a replacement, decided to forge it.
That strikes me as mysterious self-harm. It costs only $26 to get a replacement diploma from CSU. But it takes between eight and 10 weeks to receive it after filling out the Diploma Replacement Order Form.
My guess is that, in the typical last-minute, fire-brigade approach to things among Nigerian elites, Tinubu didn’t plan ahead and didn’t have enough time to apply for his replacement diploma from CSU to meet INEC’s deadline and decided to visit Lagos’ infamous “Oluwole” for a counterfeit replacement.
3. The Southwest College transcript that Tinubu used to get admitted to Chicago State University belongs to a female.
I had questioned the authenticity of the transcript because of the many errors in it, such as the date and social security number. We await what CSU has to say about this.
This reality, though, seems to validate uncorroborated but long-standing whispers from the grapevine that Tinubu, who was allegedly born Lamidi Amoda [Yoruba Muslim domestication of Abdulhamid Ahmed] Sangodele in Osun State’s Iragbiji, stole the identity of a female Bola Adekunle Tinubu to go to America.
4. Nonetheless, this whisper may be difficult to sustain in light of the fact that Tinubu’s Chicago State University admission letter dated August 23, 1977, was addressed to “Mr. Tinubu,” not Ms. or Miss Tinubu.
Was the “F” in the transcript from Southwest College a clerical error, especially because the social security number and the dates were also clerical errors? Or was there a cover-up somewhere?
Well, we saw from the documents released to Atiku that after accepting his transfer credits from Southwest College (which later became Daley College), CSU required Tinubu to take qualifying exams in English, math, and reading, which he passed. Why did CSU allow a man who presented a transcript that belonged to a woman to take qualifying exams as a man?
Tinubu obviously identified as a man throughout the two years he studied at the school. A Nigerian CSU graduate and classmate of Tinubu’s swore under oath that Tinubu ran for and won election as president of CSU’s accounting students’ association. His yearbook photo from 1979 also clearly showed a younger version of Tinubu.
And Tinubu’s handwriting and signature in the June 27, 2022, Consent to Release Student Education Records form, which authorized CSU to release his academic records to one Oluwole Afolabi of 3 Roosevelt Avenue, West Orange, New Jersey, seems to me similar to his handwriting and signatures in his CSU records.
Finally, if he used a woman’s associate degree from Southwest College to gain admission to CSU without having any background in accounting or business administration, his performance at CSU was perplexing. Of the more than 30 courses he took there, he got C’s in only three courses. The rest were A’s and B’s, which earned him honors.
5. The Bola A. Tinubu who applied to Southwest College for an associate degree in 1975 claimed to have attended Government College, Lagos, and presented a 1970 GCE A-level result with grades E in Chemistry and Biology and an F in Physics.
The problem is that Government College, Lagos, was established in 1974. So, there’s a chronological conundrum there, which signposts forgery.
The GCE A-level result also shows that “Bola A. Tinubu” took the exam as an HSC student, which used to be a two-year study after 5 years of secondary school education. In other words, the owner of the certificate must have graduated from secondary school at least in 1968.
It’s not clear at the moment if the GCE A-level result is fake or authentic—or if it belongs to the man we know today as President Bola A. Tinubu. My hunch is that it doesn’t belong to him. But this will become clear in the coming days.
6. Tinubu tells the world that he was born on March 29, 1952, but the birthday recorded in his CSU transcript says he was born on March 29, 1954.
The space for birthday in the Southwest College transcript he submitted to CSU is blank. So is the record of his secondary school education. These facts added to my previous suspicion that the transcript was probably fake.
If he was born in 1954, it means he was 14 years old when he graduated from high school.
Bonus: Tinubu’s last name was misspelled in a few of the CSU documents.
I thought the “THUBV” misspelling in his final graduation record was bad enough until I saw “Tinububu” in one of the documents.🤣 Bubu, remember, is Buhari’s nickname among a vast swath of Nigerians. Make of that what you will.
We should all thank VP Atiku Abubakar for his doggedness, which has helped us to get this much clarity about Tinubu’s past.