By Kalu Kalu Agu
Farooq Kperogi in an infantile bid to launder the image of Bola A. Tinubu, as the person who graduated from Chicago State University, exposed the criminal records of Tinubu at CSU the more.
I will respond to all the issues raised by Farooq Kperogi to demonstrate that they are all lies orchestrated to make people believe that President Bola A. Tinubu graduated from CSU.
First, Farooq Kperogi claimed that “I took advantage of my being a Professor here in the US and reached out to friends and colleagues at the school to help me verify this information.”
According to Farooq Kperogi, it was his unnamed friend, a professor of English at the university who went to the Registrar’s office and confirmed that Tinubu indeed graduated from CSU.
Farooq Kperogi is being smart by half. The issue in controversy has always been, “is Bola. A. Tinubu, a male or female?” The purported Registrar of CSU could not have disclosed the identity of the owner of the certificate, whether a male or female going by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which Farooq Kperogi even cited that prohibits the release of the records of a student to a third party. So, how does the purported response from an unnamed Registrar of CSU resolve the issue of identity theft by President Bola A. Tinubu? It is indeed laughable and reminds me of the claim by Tinubu’s lawyer led by Oluwole (what a striking coincidence of a name) that an unnamed Chicago State University Clerk was responsible for all the errors associated with Tinubu’s certificate and records at CSU.
To Farooq Kperogi “the yearbook photo of the 1979 CSU cohort features the headshot of an unmistakably younger Tinubu, even though his last name was misspelt as “THUBV”. Why Tinubu? Why was his name misspelt? After all, he was not the only Nigerian or international student who attended CSU? If the university was able to properly spell the names of Adedoyin and Adadevoh, how come they misspelled a name as simple as Tinubu? How come Tinubu was the only graduate of 1979 who ended up being listed in the 1980 year book? How come the person who signed Tinubu’s certificate only emerged as head of the institution 19 years after he graduated from the school and was still the same person who signed the replacement certificate in 2022, a good 43 years? I still wonder how Farooq Kperogi can rely on a headshot on a yearbook to conclude that President Bola A. Tinubu graduated from CSU when there is a convincing record that the name Bola A. Tinubu, who is associated with CSU, is a female. IS IT NOT THE SAME TINUBU THAT CLAIMED THE CHILDHOOD PICTURE OF DONALD DUKE? IS IT NOT THE SAME TINUBU THAT LIED HE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND GOVERNMENT COLLEGE IBADAN?
The information which Farooq Kperogi is bandying is complete hearsay (what in Nigeria is referred to as THEM SAY) and only meaningful in beer parlour banters and accordingly has no probative value at all. Farooq Kperogi cannot by his mere assertion contradict the information contained in the record released by CSU under subpoena that Bola A. Tinubu is a female. Res ipsa loquitur.
Second, Farooq Kperogi asserted that “a search of Bola A. Tinubu in the archive of US College graduation records yields zero matches This is not the issue in controversy. Farooq Kperogi went on to say “But a search of “Bola A. THUBV” (which one Engr. Stanley with Twitter handle @Engr_Stanley_EC did) turns up the record of a male who graduated from CSU with a degree in Business Administration (and a concentration in accounting)”. This is bizarre. How can a professor believe such fabricated lies from “one Engr. Stanley” whose real identity is unknown? How did the “one Engr. Stanley” get the records in the Archive of US College Graduation records? Nigerians will believe you more if you can liaise with the “one Engr. Stanley” to conduct the search by yourself and tell Nigerians the result of the search with verifiable links and or documents from the search. Anything short of that is a ruse.
Third, Farooq Kperogi asserted that “But the social security number in the Southwest College Transcript supposedly belonging to a female Bola A. Tinubu is 231-060-595. That’s an impossible numbering scheme for a US Social security number. Plus the transcript isn’t properly dated and leaves the spaces for date of birth and record of high school blank. These are no trivial red flags of inauthenticity”. May I ask Farooq Kperogi, are these red flags of inauthenticity not enough compelling reason for the CSU to officially release the academic records of Bola A. Tinubu to lay to rest all these “ultimately self-contradictory inaccuracies and innuendoes” as captured by Farooq Kperogi, and set the records straight which will make your image laundering business easier? Farooq Kperogi’s intervention looks too much like a PR script as it failed to touch on the red flag about the discrepancies in the logo and fonts of CSU and the fallacies of signatories in the certificate Tinubu presented and the one that the school registrar released. He didn’t talk about the errors that Tinubu’s lawyers talked about themselves. He deliberately ignored those issues. He writes as though he was the one that enrolled this Bola A. Tinubu – and knows all the facts about him.
Any objective article that borders on such a sensitive issue must leave room for skepticism. He didn’t do that and so, Farooq Kperogi can at best be described as a corn merchant on this one. And by the way, when the Richard Dailey school changes its name, does it change the gender of their students, too.
As of today, there is an academic record of Bola A. Tinubu belonging to a female obtained from CSU through a subpoena which the CSU has not refuted. Farooq Kperogi was quick to inquire from his purported friend at CSU to find out the academic records of Tinubu but failed to find out from his friend if the records from CSU showing that Tinubu is a female are true or false.
How, Farooq, will you feel if your student confronts you with the CSU document showing that your president is a female? How will you convince your student that the document is false? By words of mouth? Would you not appear unserious to your student? Can this scenario play out in the USA where you japa? Can the citizens of the USA allow this controversy on the academic records of our president on their president? Will the institutions in the USA not have resolved this controversy long ago and made their findings public? Why are you advocating a different measure in your country? This is highly unpatriotic from a self-claimed patriot.
Fourth, the analogy you gave on the locking of Aisha Rajvanshi and CSU Twitterer accounts in response to “unremittingly vitriolic denunciations from some Nigerians” is faulty. Aisha Rajvanshi, is a private person while CSU is a public institution that serves the public not only Nigerians but the whole world. Which image is CSU portraying to the whole world? The CSU Twitter account is the virtual image of the school. By locking its Twitter account, CSU has unwittingly shut down CSU as an institution. Twitter is a media platform for dissemination and reception of information. A responsible and responsive institution cannot lock a channel through which the outside world could reach the institution just because some individuals raised some genuine concerns on CSU’s non-chalant disposition towards a demand for the release of an academic record of just a student which has been shrouded in controversy.
Fifth, Farooq Kperogi asserted that “it’s entirely possible to earn a degree in America without ever attending a secondary.” Farooq Kperogi concluded by saying “I am not saying that was what happened with Tinubu. I don’t have the facts to make that claim. But it’s reasonable to assume that since it’s widely speculated that Tinubu changed the identity he had at birth, he disclaimed all associations with the schools he attended in his actual hometown in Osun and took a GED Test in Chicago”. This statement from Farooq Kperogi is not only concretizing the suspicion of Nigerians that Bola A. Tinubu is a female but also criminally indicting President Tinubu as a forger.
Farooq Kperogi, who is in the business of finding out, did not border to find out if the speculation that Tinubu changed the identity he had at birth is true or not before assuming that Tinubu disclaimed all associations with the schools he attended in Osun and then took GED in Chicago. Which schools did Tinubu dissociate himself from? Even if he did, but as Nigerians, to whom he owes allegiance to, we are supposed to know. Such information cannot be shrouded in secrecy for the purposes of transparency and accountability. Farooq Kperogi may wish to be reminded that the only reason why Tinubu left blank sections of the primary and secondary schools he attended in 2023 was because he was busted for having lied under oath in the form CF001 he filled with INEC while running for governorship elections in 1999 and 2003. He did not attend Government College Ibadan while the primary school he claimed to have attended in Lagos was nonexistent.
I wonder if Farooq Kperogi knows the legal implication of changing one’s identity for which one is known at birth without following the due process of the law. If this statement is to be considered seriously, it will open a floodgate of legal questions of how Tinubu got into the USA in the first place. But I want to confine my rejoinder to Farooq Kperogi’s baseless assertion in defence of President Tinubu as the owner of the CSU Certificate in controversy.
My worry is that Farooq Kperogi is defending a man who, according to him, carries an identity burden. Farooq Kperogi has worsened Tinubu’s case. Farooq Kperogi, having asserted that Tinubu changed the identity he had at birth without going further to show if it was done in compliance with due process, clearly demonstrates that all the purported claim of Tinubu graduating from CSU is founded on illegality. The law is very trite that anything founded on illegality cannot confer any advantage on anyone and in this instance; the purported CSU CERTIFICATE cannot confer any benefit on Tinubu having been acquired illegally, if it were acquired at all in the first place.
Farooq Kperogi in concluding stated “And why would Tinubu accede in writing to his academic records being released to political opponents?” My response to this issue is that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects only the genuine students and not impostors.
So far, the only academic record indicating the gender who has the certificate in controversy is a female and not a male and as such, CSU is legally bound to release the records in order to absolve itself of any connivance with President Tinubu to cover any crime associated with the Tinubu Certificate.
As an international institution, it should be a source of grave concern that its reputation is at stake and more fundamentally, the degrees awarded in the past and the ones to be awarded in the future will be highly suspicious.
If it does not bother you, Farooq Kperogi, it is a major concern to many Nigerians that the already battered image of Nigeria is now made worse by the controversy surrounding the identity of our president. The release of Tinubu’s academic records is for Nigerians to know the identity of their president and not for political opponents as you asserted.
Farooq Kperogi, as a professor in a university in the United States, will your school admit someone with no passport, no identity and available records? This does not speak of the public image you’ve created for yourself over the years. You may wish to stop selling us this burnt “agbado.”
Kperogi is in another man’s country enjoying the fruits of their patriotic engagements to their national co-existence but he is there advocating a process capable of setting Nigeria on fire. Farooq Kperogi, if you do not know, know that the general perception in Nigeria today is that Tinubu forged his academic documents. The Tribunal is to rule on this issue. What do you think could be the reaction of Nigerians when the Tribunal rules that the CSU Certificate belongs to President Tinubu when the CSU has refused to release the certificate? This is capable of triggering a crisis in Nigeria. This crisis can be averted if men of good conscience like you could join their voice to prevail on CSU to release the records to Nigeria.
I am using this forum to join my voice to those of other well meaning Nigerians in urging CSU to release the academic records of Tinubu to Nigerians. The release of this record will forestall any anticipated crisis which will directly or indirectly affect the people and government of the USA. The USA and Nigeria are one and the same. Just like the eyes and the nose, if one is hurt, the other sheds tears.
Finally, I want to stress an overarching point of distaste on the intervention by Farooq Kperogi. It is a disservice to academics of the status of a Professor that one of them could rely on information from two unnamed sources as a basis to drive a narrative. What is worse, Farooq Kperogi, did not disclose any inhibition on his part from sourcing the information directly. This uncanny disposition to rely on unnamed sources is also the reason why Farooq Kperogi relied on one “Eng. Stanley” to drive home a point. Overall, Kperogi relied on two unnamed sources. This style of the Professor is reminiscent of professional hack writers. It is pitiable that a Professor in a university, especially one teaching communication studies, will descend to this low level.
▪︎ Kalu Kalu Agu is a legal practitioner, and Everyday.ng received this via WhatsApp