The university says it is its response to the request for Tinubu’s academic records is fully in accordance with its policies, practices, and federal law.
The Chicago State University (CSU) has confirmed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree.
On Thursday, the university issued a statement to CBS Broadcasting Incorporation, stating that they are unable to provide any additional information about Tinubu’s record, without consent or a court order, due to the United States’ federal law.
This statement was made in response to allegations by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, who claimed that the documents showing Tinubu’s graduation from Chicago State in 1979 were fake.
Abubakar cited this as a basis for nullifying Tinubu’s election victory. The argument was that the certificate was issued in 1979 and signed by university President Elnora Daniel, but Daniel did not arrive at CSU until 1998 and left about 10 years later.
However, a spokeswoman for CSU confirmed that the university could attest to Tinubu’s graduation.
“As an educational institution, we are sometimes asked to provide information related to student records. Federal law known as FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects the privacy of student records and limits what an institution can release.
“In August 2023, a request was made to the U.S. federal court for the university to provide information related to educational records concerning Bola Tinubu, the President of Nigeria, and a former CSU student.
“The university has confirmed Tinubu attended CSU and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree. Federal law, however, prevents us from providing any further information without consent or unless allowed to do so via court order.“
“The CSU is confident in the veracity and integrity of our records regarding Tinubu’s completion of graduation requirements and degree certificate.”
The university has clarified that it is not involved in the Nigerian legal proceedings that have prompted the request for information.
A U.S. federal judge will decide whether the university should release additional information.
The university added that its response to the request for Tinubu’s academic records is fully in accordance with its policies, practices, and federal law.