The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential screening committee has been asked to disqualify Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos governor, over “questionable educational qualifications”.
In a letter dated May 17, 2022, one Sagir Mai Iyali, who identified himself as an APC member from Kano state, asked the party to disqualify Tinubu over alleged false documents the latter tendered to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1998.
John Oyegun, a former APC national chairman, is in charge of the screening committee, and the exercise is ongoing at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
Iyali said although Tinubu is above the required age to contest the office of president, his age is not known, adding that obscurity surrounding the presidential hopeful could jeopardise the party’s chances at the polls.
“We understand that Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has since procured his expression of interest and nomination forms and has submitted the same to the party has certain issues that clearly amount to a similar disqualification scenario,” the petition reads.
“From the information contained in prior submissions to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), particularly in 1999, Mr. Tinubu presented a false claim, on oath, of his attendance at University of Chicago from 1972-1976.
“It is clear now that these claims are false. Not only was this filed in the INEC form with a declaration on oath on December 20 1999, it was also contained in an affidavit of loss sworn to before the High Court of Lagos, Ikeja Registry, December 29th 1998.
“The latter claim that seeks to transpose history is untenable. Mr. Tinubu has to show proof he attended University of Chicago or he must stand disqualified as the opposition is in possession of these same documents. Over the years, the identity of Asiwaju Bola Anmed Tinubu has been shrouded in secrecy.
“In fact, no one can claim to know the identity of the man. Repeated efforts and demands by the general populace and the media to unravel the identity of Asiwaju Tinubu have all proved abortive and unsuccessful.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu rather chose and prefers an incognito lifestyle. Part of the man that has remained hidden is his educational background. Before now, so many reporters have launched discreet investigations to unravel the truth about the educational background of Asiwaju without success.
“We therefore urge the screening committee to invoke the powers vested on it by the constitution and guidelines of the party to disqualify Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from taking part in the APC primary election for the presidential election.”
Abdullahi Adamu, APC national chairman, and Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, were copied in the letter, while Iyali attached copies of what appeared to be Tinubu’s nomination form and affidavit in respect of lost certificates as “evidence” to back up his claims.
The former governor of Lagos previously admitted there were errors in his INEC filings in 1999.
He was also cleared by the state house of assembly of deliberately lying on his qualifications, although the lawmakers were accused of being “hasty”.
Tinubu is among 23 aspirants in APC who have been listed for screening ahead of the party’s presidential primary on June 6.