Tinubu: After Chicago, can Nigeria’s Supreme Court redeem itself?

By Emmanuel Ogebe

After all eyes on the Chicago judiciary, what next at the Supreme Court when fraud and forgery are reconfirmed? To be clear, the issue is no longer whether Tinubu is a fraud. He is very much so. 75% of Tinubu’s academic claims in his original INEC filing have been disproven as bogus by Tinubu himself in subsequent contradictory INEC forms. In other words Tinubu has testified against himself on oath disavowing three out of four schools he attended. CSU is the last school attended that is under review which in a sane clime he should heartily seek records release to prove he is a fraud but not a total fraud.


I awoke at 4am in Washington only to find that US District judge Maldonado had already uploaded her judgment ordering the release of Tinubu’s university records online. BVAS upload did not fail, she didn’t have to wait till Monday to read it in open court, and her judgment is not invalid because it was not physically printed like a ballot.


Firstly, this is how Justice works efficiently in the US with technology and secondly this shows the industry and urgency of the judge who worked from Friday when all briefs were fully settled through Saturday with a 33-page judgment principally to enable the Nigerian Supreme Court have the evidentiary content it needs to fully address these matters by this week.


In doing so, the US court avoided the technicality that this evidence and issue was not timely filed simultaneously in the presidential election petition court. Rather, the potential that it could be used in proceedings and in fact might be introduced as fresh evidence on an emergency basis before the Supreme Court sufficed.


The Supreme Court on the other hand could latch onto the technicality that the new evidence was not introduced at the trial court and thus refuse to admit it but the nature of the new evidence might determine the flexibility of the Supreme Court in allowing its introduction.


To be clear, the issue is no longer whether Tinubu is a fraud. He is very much so. 75% of Tinubu’s academic claims in his original INEC filing have been disproven as bogus by Tinubu himself in subsequent contradictory INEC forms. In other words Tinubu has testified against himself on oath disavowing three out of four schools he attended. Chicago State University is the last school attended that is under review which in a sane clime he should heartily seek records release to prove he is a fraud but not a total fraud.


Secondly the issue is not even whether Tinubu presented forged documents to INEC. He did. David Hundeyin’s incisive investigative report plus evidence previously obtained via a Chicago court from CSU conclusively prove that the certificate displayed by Tinubu was a forgery obtained from a fake certificate mill online called “Diploma-Makers.com.”


Chicago reporter and CSU alum Coyden Palmer exposed the forgery further, days ago, stating:


“Let me make this easy for you. The diploma itself is a fake. On the alleged diploma, the date of graduation is listed as June 27, 1979. The signature of the CSU president shows Elnora D. Daniel. I almost spit out my coffee I laughed so hard when I saw this. Dr. Daniel didn’t become the president of Chicago State until 1998. How do I know? Because I covered her inauguration and her first two years at Chicago State when I was a student reporter for the now defunct school newspaper TEMPO. Additionally, on the fake diploma, Dr. Niva Lubin is listed as the President of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Lubin did not even start serving on the board until 1996. I’ve known Dr. Lubin since my days as a student at CSU and she is a lifelong resident of Chatham where I grew up.”


Therefore the twin offenses of lying on oath to INEC about his educational qualifications have already been established because both his inconsistent gubernatorial form and his presidential form cannot simultaneously be true, one is a lie; presenting a forged certificate to INEC has also been proven as aforesaid.


Therefore it is now more about corroborating the established facts of the crime which wouldn’t have been necessary if the Nigerian legal system hadn’t failed the nation previously.


In fairness, by some accounts, legendary human rights icon, Gani Fawehinmi fought the issue up to the Supreme Court but when Tinubu lost gubernatorial immunity, the political will to hold him accountable wasn’t forthcoming. Another story is that a subsequent Attorney General drafted charges but withdrew them on his agreement not to run against an incumbent.


According to the lore, the charges CHARGE: FHC/ABJ/CR/04/2011 read thus;


“On or about the 20th day of December 1999 at Ikeja, Lagos State on the occasion of making a statement on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form CF001 which you submitted at the INEC headquarters in Abuja touching on your educational background a statement required by law to be made on oath did knowingly make a false statement on oath to wit: You stated on the said Form CF001 that you attended Government College, Ibadan between 1965 and 1968 both dates inclusive whereas in truth you did not attend the said school within the stated period and you thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 191 of the Criminal Code Cap 7 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 as retained in Section 191 Cap C38 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”


Due to a lack of archival databases it cannot be readily authenticated but facts already in the public domain such as FBI Legal Attaché Jennifer Dent’s contemporaneous letter to EFCC of that same year denying that Tinubu attended CSU clearly indicate that he was indeed investigated by the Nigerian government and that they amassed evidence of crimes which were not subsequently prosecuted.


If that is the case, then the AGF at the time, who has already admitted that he did not prosecute Buhari as some of us advocated, is likely the only one in history to have failed to prosecute two men who became the worst president in Nigeria and the most fraudulent.


Besides, one Enahoro had also filed a direct criminal complaint against Tinubu in Nigeria on the basis of the certificate forgery he uncovered in collaboration with Hundeyin last year.


Other issues sought to be clarified by the testimony on oath of the university officials might include, the gender and date of birth of the “Bola A. Tinubu” who was admitted into Chicago State University, the full name of the middle initial, citizenship status and actual identity.


This is very strategic for a number of reasons including determining whether Bola Ahmed Tinubu stole the identity of Bola Adekunle Tinubu or whether Amoda Sangodele stole the identities of Bola A. Tinubu. This would explain why for instance, no criminal record was reported for Bola A. Tinubu to the IGP as claimed by his lawyers and why there is mysteriously no record of his existence whatsoever before community college in America. There are generally three categories of people who have incomplete personal history data


1. Land crossing illegal migrants


2. Persons in Witness Protection


3. Identity thieves


In a conversation with American reporter and CSU alum Coyden Palmer, he raised an intriguing poser, “Don’t you think it would have been great marketing for CSU to have an alumnus as President especially when they have dwindling student enrollment yearly? Even they know the answer already.”


Frankly, counsel to the University had stated in the emergency hearing that they were prepared to produce the documents in one hour, complaining that Tinubu had brought them negative publicity and was costing them money – the very opposite effect. In fact, they said they had “no dog in the fight” – implying that they were not beholden to protect Tinubu which they may have done if they were proud of association with him as a distinguished alum.


It should be pointed out that already a third and fourth offense of lying has been established against him as Hundeyin revealed his Guinean citizenship as well as a bogus employment history with Deloitte.


I would even go a step further to state that a fifth offense of lying on oath to the government is detectable where he falsely deposed on his INEC form that he had lived in Nigeria “all my life.” I met Bola A. Tinubu (aka Amoda Sangodele amongst others) in London months after my release from captivity by Gen Abacha in the ‘90s.


Amongst all the NADECO chieftains present, everyone was on exile. I was the only one there to return to Nigeria. Having lived in both England and the USA (where he allegedly worked), it is strange that he would blatantly lie about living all his life in Nigeria.


This is the troubling thing about Tinubu Sangodele – that his lies have no limits and his escaping consequences in our legal system will render our judiciary not courts of law but courts of lies.


What is left for the Supreme Court is simple – to save Nigeria and by so doing itself from being a tool of legitimization of criminality and delegitimization of constitutionality.


Apex Courts worldwide have that prerogative of exceptions to allow the introduction of new evidence in exigent circumstances.


Some years ago, a British friend I had met in UK the same year I met Tinubu contacted me in US that he had discovered a Nigerian as the sole black prisoner on death row in an Indonesian island prison.


The young man was already awaiting execution when I came into the case on the basis of mistaken identity having been trafficked on a Sierra Leonean passport by a ruthless drug cartel.


The Indonesian ambassador whom I met to advocate for him was fortunately a lawyer. He told me diplomatically speaking there was no hope since it was confirmed by their Supreme Court but that as a professional colleague, he whispered to me a word in the Indonesian language.


I researched it with our multi-continental legal team and discovered it meant the last chance offered by the Supreme Court that 27 days before his execution, he would be notified by the authorities and then and only then could we file a last minute application to introduce new evidence.


The client had already been on death row for years so began the race against time to find new evidence before the hangman came calling. However it took us years to establish his true Nigerian identity because the government didn’t have records of passports issued. We had to conduct a DNA test on him in Indonesia and his brother in Nigeria which had to be tested in South Africa because there was no DNA facility in Nigeria. We traced the client’s movements to Pakistan where he had applied for refugee status with the United Nations and also tracked the drug kingpin who set him up to a prison in Thailand. For years, lawyers and volunteers on five continents worked tirelessly to uncover his unfortunate story and finally produced a massive dossier of new evidence. Then we waited – for years upon years.


Finally we got the execution notice and immediately filed our new evidence. The Indonesian Supreme Court reopened the case accordingly. I flew to Nigeria from US and picked the younger brother of the client to Indonesia to appear in court then immediately after flew back to the UN in New York for a pre-scheduled event with the Deputy General Secretary of the UN. It was a marathon journey around the world in one week because of the urgency of the matter – a capital offense case – the immediacy of the hearing and imminence of execution.


To the glory of God, the Supreme Court accepted our evidence and the client is set for release shortly after over 20 years on death row and a dozen years of working on his defense pro bono.


The Supreme Court of Nigeria has to decide between a confirmed fraudulent drug money-launderer and a nation on death row. It can only grant reprieve to one or the other, no “ands, ifs or buts.”


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