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Imperative for presidential resignation: Tinubu’s constitutional eligibility crisis ~ [Pt. 1] by Emmanuel Ihim

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In the heart of Nigeria’s political terrain, a storm of controversy engendering democratic backsliding in the country and within other African nations. The crux of the issue revolves around the educational qualifications and the credibility of President Bola Tinubu, which have been over the years shielded by long, mysterious shadows compounding constitutional eligibility to serve as Nigeria’s leader.

The mysteries and shades are now unveiled by the recent Chicago State University deposition under oath confirming that the certificate Tinubu presented to INEC, pivotal for his presidential qualification, was forged.

A Maze of Inconsistencies

Unraveling various court proceedings on Tinubu’s claim of loss of certificate in his filings under oath with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1999 and 2003 that he attended St Paul Children’s Home School, Ibadan, from 1958 to 1964 and Government College, Ibadan (GCI) from 1965 to 1968 before proceeding to Richard Daley College, Chicago, from 1969 to 1971 and the University of Chicago has been debunked and proven false.

Emmanuel Ihim
The author, Emmanuel Ihim, Esquire

Subsequent investigations spearheaded by the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Bello Adoke, have failed to find corroborative evidence of his attendance at the Chicago State University.

In fact, a stark transformation in Mr. Tinubu’s declaration was observed in 2003 when he filed the WC Form 001, marking every educational section as ‘Not Applicable,’ further muddying the waters regarding his educational background.

A Pervading Trust Deficit

Given the gravity of these revelations, public faith in the Nigerian political system is faltering. The alleged machinations of Mr. Tinubu to secure alliances to dismiss impending charges against him in 2011 further exacerbates distrust in the corridors of power. The perceived obfuscation of Mr. Tinubu’s academic records and other inconsistencies has deeply impacted Nigeria’s international standing and self-esteem.

Legal Implications & Precedents

Legal instruments like Section 191 of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria postulate that false declarations, especially concerning legal oath matters, carry stringent punitive measures, including up to seven years of imprisonment. The weighty charges against Mr. Tinubu, now grounded in truth, obligate his disqualification and that of his Vice Presidential Candidate by the Supreme Court where the matter currently resides, his impeachment by the National Assembly, and subsequent prosecution and incarceration.

Nigeria has witnessed prominent figures stepping down from office due to similar discrepancies. In 1999, Speaker Salisu Buhari resigned over forged certificate allegations. Similarly 2018, Kemi Adeosun relinquished her position as Finance Minister due to controversies surrounding her NYSC certificate.

A Clarion Call for Accountability

As Nigeria stands at the crossroads, it’s pivotal for our leaders to exemplify transparency, honesty, and accountability. In light of the recent damning revelations from Chicago State University and the impending release of potentially incriminating data by the FBI, it’s high time for President Bola Tinubu to consider resigning. Such an act would align with the precedents set by his predecessors and restore a modicum of faith in our democratic process.

The Supreme Court, as the apex judicial body, carries the monumental responsibility of steering the nation toward justice and upholding the tenets of our democracy. Historical rulings have emphasized the imperative to cleanse Nigeria’s political landscape of any elements undermining its integrity.

As the nation keenly observes the unfolding events, it is our collective demand that for justice to prevail, political sanity, and the rule of law to be restored, President Tinubu and his Vice President Kashim Shettima should vacate and resign. This will morally and politically enliven the polity, engender the preservation of Nigeria’s democratic values, and restore the trust of its citizens in the institutions that govern them.

Emmanuel Ihim, Esq.

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