The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has described as baseless the allegation of certificate forgery peddled against President Bola Tinubu by former vice president Atiku Abubakar.
Concise News recalls that Atiku had approached a US court which ordered Chicago State University to release Tinubu’s academic records to him.
During a press conference in Abuja last week, Atiku alleged discrepancies in the certificate obtained.
Reacting, Keyamo said, “I have been a defence and prosecution lawyer at the highest level in criminal trials for more than 30 years. You cannot allege or prove forgery except the purported maker of the document denies its authenticity or there is uncontradicted evidence of a forensic report that categorically says the document was deliberately altered or concocted by the person who uttered (in a legal sense) or issued it.
“Applying this principle to the case of Atiku Abubakar Vs Chicago State University, so long as the university openly said they do not issue replacement certificates. But (added) 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 Tinubu denies its authenticity. And it is the duty of the accuser to fish out the said vendor and get that evidence. It is not the other way around. He who alleges must prove.”
According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, it was the same basic principle he deployed in defence of former President Muhammed Buhari when a similar scenario played out during his tenure.
While reiterating that Tinubu has no case to answer, Keyamo sarcastically urged Atiku to quietly bow out of politics.
“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. Unfortunately for them, Tinubu is as clean and white as snow on this issue and we are again waiting for them at the Supreme Court.
“As for Atiku Abubakar (the famed SPV king and the one who disgraced Nigeria internationally with the money-laundering case involving Congressman William Jefferson), we acknowledge the valedictory speech he delivered a few days ago signifying his retirement from politics and we wish him Godspeed in that retirement,” he stated.