Chicago State University (CSU) has officially confirmed that Nigerian President Bola Tinubu attended the institution and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree. This confirmation comes amidst controversy surrounding the authenticity of Tinubu’s academic records, which have become a focal point in the aftermath of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
The university’s acknowledgment was made public through a statement released to CBS News, a prominent American television and radio service. In this statement, CSU emphasized that it is legally restricted from disclosing any further details about Tinubu’s academic history without proper consent or a court order.
The controversy surrounding Tinubu’s educational background was sparked by Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 Nigerian presidential election. Atiku alleged that Tinubu’s academic records, which were submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were not genuine. He contended that this could be grounds for nullifying Tinubu’s election victory.
The dispute reached the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where a subpoena application for Tinubu’s records from CSU was filed. However, the court adjourned its ruling on the matter earlier this week after CSU stated that it couldn’t definitively confirm the authenticity of the diploma certificate submitted by Tinubu to INEC.
During the hearing, CSU lawyer Michael Hayes clarified the university’s position, saying, “Is the diploma authentic or is it a forgery? My client can’t answer yes to either of those questions.”
Despite this uncertainty, the recent statement from Chicago State University reaffirms Tinubu’s status as a former student who graduated in 1979. It underscores the university’s commitment to abiding by federal laws, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protect the privacy of student records.
CSU’s statement reads, “CSU is confident in the veracity and integrity of our records regarding Tinubu’s completion of graduation requirements and degree certificate. The university is not a party to the Nigerian legal proceedings that spurred this request, and a U.S. federal judge will determine whether the university will provide further requested information.”
The outcome of this ongoing legal battle will play a crucial role in determining the legitimacy of Bola Tinubu’s academic credentials and its potential impact on his political career.