By Ogochukwu Isioma
Amidst the ongoing drama over the academic records of President Bola Tinubu at the Chicago State University (CSU) embroiling the President in a legal tussle with his major rival in the 2023 presidential poll, Atiku Abubakar, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has told the President to allow a seamless unveiling of his academic record as ordered by the court.
Recall that a Magistrate Court in the United States last week, ordered CSU to release the academic records of Tinubu within 48 hours. However in a swift appeal lodged after the order, Tinubu pleaded with the Judge to save him from suffering what he termed “severe and irreparable damage” by placing an emergency hold on the court order instructing the release of his academic records which is now enmeshed in the murky waters of controversy.
In a statement made available to METROWATCHXTRA on Wednesday morning, Chief Eze says Tinubu had relied on the protective cloak of privacy rights which extends to academic records, to allegedly frustrate any investigation into his alleged claim of having graduated from CSU from whence a certificate he submitted on oath to INEC emanated.
“But the court in its wisdom ruled that the interest of Atiku Abubakar in obtaining Tinubu’s records from CSU outweighs his privacy rights because by submitting his diploma to INEC, he has put his certificate to issue. That means interested parties can question its authenticity and seek verification from the issuing authority; a step leveraged by Atiku,” Eze noted.
A member of the APC notwithstanding, Eze said the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar is fighting a just cause and by the expose of his doggedness, the lapses in the nation’s electoral laws and institutions pertaining to verification of documents put forward by seekers of public offices have been brought to fore and should be addressed by the framers of laws.
He alleged that some public office holders are consummate forgers of academic records; parading certificates they do not hold.
He said if Tinubu is clean with the CSU academic records he paraded over the years and which he presented on oath to INEC, “what then is he trying to hide from Nigerians?”. “If the certificate from CSU is authentic, why strive so hard and spend so much to frustrate efforts to reveal it to an interested party – Atiku Abubakar who has a pending appeal challenging his declaration by the electoral umpire as winner of 2023 presidential poll?,” Eze queried.
Expressing confidence that the courts in the US are conscious of justice which is the fulcrum of their conscience and judgements, Eze condemned ‘efforts’ by Tinubu and his legal team to “deliberately deploy the usual delay tactics common in the Nigerian Jurisprudence in depriving justice from deserving parties”, noting that “regardless of their schemes, justice will be served and Nigerians will win in the long run.”
“Had the court not given judgement against him, one would have loved to see a situation where our dear President waives every privacy rights that constitute a cloak on the unveiling of his academic records at the Chicago State University, to boost public trust. That’s how to lead by example”, Eze said.
“Deploying every means to conceal his records does not speak well of him, taints his administration with fraud and further damages the reputation of our democracy and governance system and every responsible Nigerian should feel concerned about this mess. It’s now about our country reputation,” the former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) noted.