Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, says until the vendor who issued a replacement certificate to President Bola Tinubu denies the document, there is no case against him.
There has been controversy over a certificate Tinubu claimed he obtained from the Chicago State University (CSU) after graduating from the institution.
In a deposition, Caleb Westberg, registrar of CSU, said vendors issue replacement certificates and that the one the president obtained in 1997 matches the institution’s format.
The university released Tinubu’s academic records after former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar filed a case in the US, requesting the documents.
Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, is seeking to disqualify Tinubu as president on the grounds that he forged his academic certificate.
The former vice-president has since filed a motion seeking to introduce the president’s records as new evidence following his appeal of the presidential election petitions tribunal verdict that affirmed Tinubu’s victory in February.
In a post on X on Sunday, Keyamo said Abubakar must find the vendor who issued the replacement certificate to find out if it is genuine or not.
“Applying this principle to the case of Atiku Abubakar V Chicago State University, so long as the University openly said THEY DO NOT ISSUE REPLACEMENT CERTIFICATES, BUT THAT VENDORS DO SO ON THEIR BEHALF, all these noise about so-called forgery are useless until THE PARTICULAR VENDOR THAT ISSUED the replacement certificate to @officialABAT denies its authenticity,” he said.
“And it is the duty of the accuser to fish out the said vendor and get that evidence. It is not the other way round. He who alleges must prove.
“This is the simple principle I laid down in 2019 during our defence of President Buhari that has been so mischievously celebrated as if they have hit the bull’s eye.”
The minister said the former vice-president’s press conference on Tinubu’s certificate has signified that he is retiring from politics.