Whilst his opponents were doing all they could to get him out of office. Bola Tinubu, the Lagos State Governor did not allow these machinations to divert his attention from keeping to his programme of action to bring about change to the people.
What is dear to Governor Tinubu is the eradication of poverty and ensuring total security for life and property.
The Governor has now been exonerated of all the charges that his detractors leveled against him and conscience International brings you the house committee report:
The report of the ad hoc committee set-up on Tuesday, 21 September 1999 by the Lagos State House Of Assembly to investigate the allegations of perjury and forgery leveled against the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu.
The allegations made against the Executive Governor of Lagos State were contained in a petition dated August 2, 1999, written by one Alhaji Jamil Seriki purportedly of No.62 Balogun Smith and purportedly of No 5, unity Road, ikeja, Lagos to the Inspector General of Police.
The document; endorsed, by the petitioners were , photocopies of the Governor’s inauguration profile, INEC form CF.001, affidavit sworn to at ikeja High Court of Justice on 29 December, 1998, the Year Books of Government College, Ibadan and the transcript of Chicago State University.
Specifically, the petitioners alleged as follows;
1. That there is discrepancy in the age of the Executive Governor of Lagos State since the
profile published during his inauguration states that he was born in 1952 and the age on the transcript of the at Chicago State University states that he was born in 1954.
2. That the Governor did not attend Government College, lbadan as was stated in his profile and lNEC FORM CF 00l.
3. That the Governor did not attend University of Chicago as he claimed in INEC FORM CF 001 and affidavit sworn to at the Ikeja High Court of justice on 29th December, 1998
The above letter and the enclosure were published in Today’s newspaper and the Source magazine. The committee deemed it fit to invite the petitioners and therefore wrote the petitioners. The letters were sent by courier. The petitioners did not attend the hearing and we have not heard from them up till now. We visited their addresses at No.62, Balogun Street West, Lagos and No 5, Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday, 22, September, 1999. And found out that the petitioners neither reside nor carry on any business at the addresses.
Hence, we concluded that the petitioners was written in fictitious names. Attached hearing and marked Annexure l and 2 are pictures of the buildings bearing the above addressees taken when the committee visited the addresses. Also attached and marked Annexure 3 and 4 are copies of the evidence of courier of the letters forwarded to the fictitious petitioners.
The Governor of Lagos State started his evidence by admitting full responsibility for some of the “needless errors”, being pinpointed in recent publications and which formed the basis of allegation against him.
The Governor told the committee that as a result of the acrimonious primaries of the Alliance For Democracy in Lagos State and its attendants crisis, the information contained in both the INEC. FORM and Affidavit of loss of Certificate Were supplied by one of his political aids senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.
The Governor then submitted to the committee a copy of the Social Democratic Party Senatorial candidature form dated June 1, 1992 which he used to contest 1992 Senatorial election as candidate of the party for Lagos West.
In the form, which he personally filled, the Governor attached the certificates of Richard Daley College and Chicago State University. For his educational qualifications, he filled B.Sc. Accounting only.
This, according to him, demonstrated that “needless errors” spotted in the 1999 INEC form were not consistent and that they were “genuine errors”. He further directed the attention of the committee to the INEC form CF.001 that bore a wrong date of Twenty-eight December 1999 instead of Twenty-eight December 1998.
The error he said was made by INEC which printed the form. And not even the Commissioner of Oath spotted this error.
This, in his view, further, confirmed that the hurried and confused manner under which the preparations to the Governorship primaries were organized, gave rise to error on all sides.
The Governor said he was born Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu in 1952. He attended St. John’s Primary School, Aroloya., Lagos and Children’ s Home School in Ibadan.
The Governor spoke about his difficult and traumatic youth and how he scaled the hurdles of life as a self man. After his primary education, the Governor said he was admitted into secondary schools but he could not further his education because of his poverty,
The Governor thus had to engage in menial jobs before he proceeded in 1970 to the United States of America, in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece. The Governor informed us that in America, be undertook various odd jobs and tried to improve himself academically. After five years of the most harrowing College in Chicago, which among others offers basic, remedial and academic classes, preparatory to entering Chicago State University.
He presented a photocopy of a certificate issued by Richard J. Daley College (City Colleges of Chicago), a copy of which is attached here with and marked “Annexure 5″.
Throughout the time he studied in Chicago, the Governor said he also had to fend for himself and that he actually paid his way through school by working extra hours as a tutor as a tutor in the same University. He said he also studied for extra hours, especially during summer.
The Governor said 27 (twenty-seven}credit hours were transferred from Daley College to Chicago State University, where he obtained Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration. His major was in Accounting to back up his claim the Governor produced the following documents:
1. A copy of a letter dated September 6, 1978 written by Andrew F. Sikula, dean, College of Business Administration, Chicago State University informing Mr. Bola Tinubu that he had made the Dean’s honours list by making 3.50 or better grade point average. This is here with attached and marked annexure 6″.
2. An inter-office memorandum of Chicago State University date May, 28 1979 Written by one Clyde Smith to the honours award committees recommending Bola .A. Tinubu as the recipient of the outstanding senior award. This is herewith attached and marked as “annexure 7”.
3. Copies of the May/June 1979 edition of TEMPO, Chicago State University, campus Journal covering Chicago State University Annual Awards Ceremony. Bola Tinubu was described as the President of the Accounting society and was also said to be running for student government association presidency. This is herewith attached and marked “annexure 8”.
4. A Chicago State University Statement issued, by the Accounts Receivable Department on June 16, 1979 with his social security number. This is herewith attached and marked as “Annexure 9”.
5. The Chicago State University Certificate dated 22 day of June 1979 conferring upon Bola Tinubu the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration (Accounting with honours). This is herewtth attached and marked as “Annexure 10”.
6. A copy of Chicago State University Outstanding Senior Award Certificate dated 5th July 1979, awarded to Bola .A. Tinubu. This is herewith attached and marked as Annexure 11″.
7. A copy of Chicago State University Department Certificate of Merit dated 5th July, presented by Bola A. Tinubu. Herewith is attached and marked as Annexure 12”
8. copy of the year book of Chicago State University with the Picture of Bola .A. Tinubu on page 72. This herewith attached and marked as “Annexure 13”
9. Chicago State University Academic Records (transcript) dated July 11th, 1979. This herewith is attached and marked “Annexure 14”
10. Copy of 1922 social Democratic party senatorial candidature form dated June 1992. This is herewith attached and marked as “Annexure 15″.
11. Chicago State University letter dated August 20, 1999. addressed to Whom It May Concern advising, Bola .A. Tinubu did indeed attended Chicago State University from August 1977 through June 1979. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Administration with honours on June 22, 1979. His major was Accounting.
Herewith is attached and marked as ” Annexure 16″
12. The Governor informed us that before coming to Nigeria, worked as an Accontant with Deloitte Haskings & Sells and at GTE services Corporation. Enclosed herewith and marked “Annexure 17” and Annexure 18″ respectively are the pay slip relating to the above establishments. He said he came to Nigeria and undertook his National Youth service between November l2, 1982 and November 11, 1982 with Harborni Limited of Ibadan. A copy of the National Youth Service Corps Discharge Certificate number 173807 issued to Tinubu, Bola Adekunle (NYSC/OY/FORN/82/9106) dated November 11, 1983 was given to the committee as proof. This is herewith attached and marked as “Annexure 19”
The Governor said he also worked at MOBIL Oil Nigeria Plc and rose to become the Treasurer of the organization. To buttress this claim, he tendered the following documents.
1. A copy of Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc’s certificate of service dated May 14, 1992 issued in favour of Mr. B. A Tinubu. Herewith attached and marked “Annexure 20” is a copy of the said certificate.
2. A letter written by Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc dated December 29, 1998 addressed to whom it may concern confirming that Mr. Tinubu was an Employee of the Company between December 1983 and May 17, 1992. He was said to have left on May 18, 1992 on public service leave of absence and did not return at the leave. Herewith attached and marked “Annexure 21” is a copy of the said letter.
3. A welcome address by Paul .L. Calwell, Chairman of Service dated May14, 1992 issued in favour of Mr. B.A. Tinubu. Herewith attached and marked. “Annexure 22” is a copy of said address.
When questions were asked about age discrepancies, he insisted that he was born in 1952 and 1954. In support of his claim, he referred to INECFORM CF:001 and his gubernatorial profile that put his year of birth at 1952. The tallies with his 1992 voters’ registration card and the Social Democratic Party Senatorial candidature form dated June 1, 1992, items 2 of which put his date of birth at March 29, 1952.
The following documents were also made available to the committee by the Governor.
His International passport number
1. A 0004062. Herewith attached and marked “Annexure 23” is a copy of the relevant page of the said passport.
2. His United States of America refugee travel passport number A74685870. Herewith attached and marked. ” Annexure 24 ” is a copy of the relevant page of the said passport: and
3. His United States of America employment authorisation card number LIN9804950277 Herewith attached and marked “Annexure 25” is a copy of the said card.
He concluded that errors on his INEC form were not deliberate, as he did not gain any advantage whatsoever by claiming 1954 or presenting bogus academic qualification since he already had the requited minimum qualification.
When the Governor was asked why he did not respond to the allegations promptly, he said he felt they were all part of the campaign of calumny against him which began with the allegations that his administration was slow.
Asked about his view on the reaction of his aides to some of the allegations. He said that at a stage in the saga, the events took a life of its own with his aides issuing statements and papers on his behalf. He said some of these reactions embarrassed him.
Senator, Tokunbo Afikuyomi’s Testimony. He informed the committee that he was heading the unit of Governor’s campaign responsible for processing the form and he accepted responsibilities for the mistakes in the INEC forms. He refused that the form was signed at 2.am. He said the forms were filled for the Governor in a rush and under tensed circumstances. At a point when there were problem, and crises in the party, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Lagos State during the gubernatorial primary electioneering campaign. He said as a result of the crises, they had very little time to fill and process the INEC form. He said the Governor also hurriedly signed the forms so as to beat the deadline given by INEC for the submission of all forms.
He also commented on the similarities and distinction between the case at hand and that of Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim Buhari, the former Speaker of House of Representatives. He said the only similarity is that both the former Speaker and the Lagos State Governor are public office holders. Otherwise, both cases are different in the following manner.
He said the former Speaker was under aged at the time he contested the election and needed an advantage for eligibility, while the Governor was over the stipulated age. For example, in the case of Senate President, Evans Enwerem, the Senate Committee trying him discharged him on the allegation of age impropriety because even if there were two different ages, he was still above the minimum age requirement as at the time of his election.
The Governor has a degree from Chicago State University while the former Speaker did no even have a school Certificate.
The constitution provides immunity for the Governor from being tried or sentenced while Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim Buhari as the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives had none. He concluded that the mix-ups were caused by mistakes and not intentionally done as, in the case of Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim Buhari.