Alleged Forgery: President Tinubu And The Burden Of Morality

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Despite claims by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that it is getting the country’s electoral system improved by the day is still far from reality in view of the current upheaval in the past weeks since the proclamation by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, upholding the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu after it dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, LP and Allied Peoples Movement, APM challenge the emergence of Tinubu as president.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, having been reaffirmed their victory in the February 25 presidential election are still being dragged by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP following the discovery by the US court that the certificate Tinubu submitted to INEC wasn’t actually issued by the Chicago State University, CSU, where he claimed to have graduated from.

The allegation by Atiku until proven otherwise by the Supreme Court has not only dented the country’s electoral system but it has made Nigeria a laughing stock among the comity of nations – that an individual would go this far to obtain a certificate could not be verified by the institution the authenticity of the certificate.

While Atiku had filled fresh evidence before the Supreme Court to ascertain or for the court to take a legal stand on the matter courtesy suggests that the president despite his gospel of the rule should be advised by his lawyers to look at the provisions of the constitution which states in Section 137 (1)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution (amended in 2010) that no one would be legitimately elected president of Nigeria if the person “has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

The onus lies on the president to do the needful if indeed his acts until the matter is decided by the court was illegal to act accordingly to the constitution.

While the president continues to parade himself as a democrat he should take a cue from leaders who have gone through this mess and allow the judiciary handle the matter.

While Atiku has been able to unearth this allegation it present an opportunity for president Tinubu to look inward and allow himself to be purged by his conscience.

Over the years, since there has been allegations of leaders forging certificates without doing the needful to step down this might be president Tinubu’s golden opportunity that as the president of the country he resigned from office after the court had confirmed that the certificate he presented to INEC which could not be authenticated by CSU was actually forged.

The victory for Atiku might not necessarily be that the Supreme Court nullifies the election of President Tinubu but that the president seeing the circumstances on ground honourably forfeits the seat for peace and to restore the respect countries once had for the nation.

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