Dele Farotimi: Forgery Is Not a Nigerian nor Yoruba Thing

Dele Farotimi, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, said that forging documents is not a Nigerian or Yoruba thing, no matter what the registrar of Chicago State University said.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, Farotimi said this: He also said that the truth in Nigeria has become relative and that Nigerians need to make sure that the truth doesn’t become transactional.

Farotimi talked about what the CSU registrar said and said, “I am of the firm opinion that that is not a Nigerian thing to do.” The CSU clerk may have something to say about it, but it’s not a Nigerian thing. The CSU made it clear that the diploma sent to INEC did not come from them. That’s the only legal issue that bothers me, but it’s not a good look at the country’s honesty, integrity, or reputation.

In response to what the minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, said about the matter on Monday, Farotimi said, “He was right to say that Mr. Tinubu’s forgery was pointless.” When you think about all the other problems Nigeria is facing, the fact that the president of “the most populous black country in the world” faked his certificate seems very small.

“Now, to move on, because it’s easy to try to avoid the small things that the Tinubu administration has pretty much forced on us, but when you read more of the same deposition, you start to see that there are more lies than just the fake certificate. There are too many questions that need to be answered, and people might start to say that evidence doesn’t matter anymore, but it does.

The Human Rights Advocate, Farotimi , then said that he doesn’t agree with the idea that someone should be called Omoluabi just because they are Yoruba. He said, “An Omoluabi comes with qualifications. It comes with qualifications of integrity, honesty, pedigree, and history. That’s why we have Oriki in Yoruba land—a person will be praised by his children.” The person must then earn the title of Omoluabi by being honest, treating others fairly, and acting with ethics.

“I reject the idea that Omoluabi should now be given to anyone who answers the name of a Yoruba person, even if that person hasn’t done anything that suggests they have the qualities that would make them answer the name of Omoluabi. My name is Omoluabi; I’m a Yoruba man, and I haven’t faked my license. So, doing that is not something that Nigerians, Yorubas, or Omoluabis do.

The lawyer said, “Facts don’t matter in Nigeria anymore; that’s the truth.” He was asked about the controversy that the CSU registrar’s statement had caused in Nigeria and what the federal courts would do with this information. The room for alternative facts has been taken over, and truth itself has become totally subjective and up for grabs.

There is no doubt about what the depositions say. Without a doubt, the person speaking for CSU said that the certificate that Bola Ahmed Tinubu gave to INEC did not come from them. That is something that should be taken care of and then forgotten about. We can argue about whether the Nigerian courts will find a good reason to do what needs to be done at a later time. But the fact that we are still fighting about something that was clearly proven in the deposition says a lot about the kind of country we have become.

He went on to say, “Now, whether Mr. Tinubu went to the university, whether he went with the right credentials, whether he lied about the schools he went to, and whether Government College Lagos was founded in 1970 or 1974 is a whole different story.”

It gets even messy as you look into it more, and I believe we have a responsibility to keep the truth from becoming transactional and subjective. There is no doubt about it: the license Mr. Tinubu sent in is fake. “That is not my opinion; that is what the school’s registrar has said.”

Then Farotimi was asked if new evidence about the alleged forgery of Tinubu’s certificate could be brought before the Supreme Court in the presidential election appeal case. He replied, “Nigerian courts over the past few years have made it very clear that we have good reasons to be worried about their ability to deliver justice or give equity.”

But I do know that the Supreme Court has the power and the will to hear evidence that the person in the highest office of the country is a career criminal. That is entirely up to the court.

It is up to the court to decide if it can save what we have variously called a democracy. He then said that this was just his view and repeatedly stressed that he does not hate anyone, only the things they do.

This is what Farotimi told Nigerians when they asked what they could learn from this: “Just tell the truth.” There is a chance that you will be caught lying at some point. “Tell the truth.”

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