In a tweet made in 2019, Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), stated that individuals who present forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be disqualified from elected offices according to the 1999 constitution. However, this statement has come back to haunt Keyamo’s principal, President Bola Tinubu, who has been implicated in the same act.
Keyamo’s tweet, which emphasized the legal consequences of presenting forged certificates, resurfaced recently when the United States-based Chicago State University (CSU) confirmed that the certificate submitted by President Tinubu to INEC did not originate from their institution. While CSU acknowledged Tinubu’s graduation from their university, they noted that the certificate in question was forged.
This revelation has significant implications for President Tinubu, as it could potentially lead to his removal from office for committing forgery. It is worth mentioning that Keyamo openly supported the disqualification of individuals who present fake credentials to INEC.
The issue of Tinubu’s alleged forged certificate is expected to be at the center of the upcoming Supreme Court appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party’s Peter Obi. They are challenging the ruling of the presidential election tribunal, which upheld Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress’ victory in the February 25 election.
According to Section 137 (1)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution (amended in 2010), presenting a forged certificate to INEC disqualifies an individual from legitimately holding the position of Nigeria’s president.
In light of these developments, the spotlight is now on Festus Keyamo’s previous statement, as the situation reflects the very scenario he warned against. The outcome of President Tinubu’s alleged forgery could have far-reaching consequences for both him and the political landscape of Nigeria.