The United States chapter of All Progressives Congress has warned leading opposition parties and critics of the current administration to be wary of court contempt when whipping up sentiments on the controversy surrounding President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University academic certificate.
The warning is coming hours after the Chairman of the Supreme Court panel hearing the appeals against Tinubu’s election, Justice John Okoro, asked the Peoples Democratic Party standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar, to prove his allegation of certificate forgery levelled against the ex-Lagos State governor beyond a reasonable doubt.
Okoro handed down the admonition during the hearing of the election petition appeals filed by Atiku and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
The former vice-president had accused Tinubu of falsifying the CSU diploma of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration awarded in 1979 that he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Reacting in a statement issued after a press conference on Monday night, the Chairman of APC USA, Prof Tai Balofin, condemned Atiku’s alleged continual embarrassment of the president over the certificate saga as unbecoming, especially when the CSU has already confirmed its authenticity.
While calling on the opposition to show maturity in their pursuit of democratic ideals, Balofin also warned that subjecting the president’s academic matter to media trial amounts to contempt of the court.
He said, “We have convened today to discuss the most recent developments concerning President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic background and the allegations that have found resonance within the public domain. We intend to elucidate the circumstances surrounding these allegations and to implore adherence to the rule of law. We fervently advocate for unity and the preservation of our nation’s dignity.
“Therefore, we pray opposition groups to exhibit respect for the judicial system and refrain from actions that may needlessly tarnish both our great nation and the reputation of President Tinubu.
“We unequivocally assert that following a meticulous examination, the APC USA and the Committee of Diaspora have yet to unearth any substantive evidence to suggest that President Tinubu’s diploma, as tendered to the Independent National Electoral Commission, is a fraudulent document. This consequential and encouraging outcome should assuage any lingering apprehensions regarding the President’s academic background.
“We fervently implore opposition factions and all political stakeholders to uphold the legal process’s tenets and refrain from actions that may precipitate ignominy upon our nation. The opposition must exhibit a modicum of maturity and demonstrate commitment to the democratic ideals that underpin our nation’s fabric. We must remain mindful of the paramount importance of collaboration and cohesiveness in fostering the advancement and prosperity of our great nation.”