Legal Battle Over Tinubu’s Academic Records Erupts as US Court Orders Release of Sensitive Documents
In a recent legal development, the United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois has issued a ruling in favor of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The court has ordered Chicago State University (CSU) to release President Bola Tinubu’s academic records by today (Monday).
Tinubu’s legal team has contested the relevance of these documents in Atiku’s appeal against Tinubu in the Nigerian Supreme Court. Earlier, Atiku had obtained an order from US Magistrate Jeffrey Gilbert, directing CSU to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents, including Tinubu’s admission records, dates of attendance, and academic achievements.
As the deadline approached, Tinubu’s lawyers sought a review by a district judge, which was granted. They argued that the academic records in question were not useful in Nigerian courts and that Atiku’s request was overly intrusive.
However, in a fresh judgment, Judge Maldonado overruled Tinubu’s objections and adopted Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s ruling in full. The court found that Atiku’s interest outweighs any intrusion on Tinubu’s privacy interests in his educational records.
The judge’s verdict clarified that it doesn’t express any opinion on the merits of Atiku’s claims against Tinubu or the validity of the Nigerian election. It simply upholds Atiku’s right to obtain the requested documents and testimony from CSU.
Reacting to the verdict, a member of the PDP National Executive Council, Timothy Osadolor, viewed Tinubu’s appeal as unnecessary and believes the US judgment will bolster Atiku’s case before the Nigerian Supreme Court.
Tinubu’s attorney, Oluwole Afolabi, downplayed the significance of the academic documents, citing electoral rules that prohibit the introduction of new evidence on appeal.
This legal development adds complexity to the ongoing dispute between the two presidential candidates and raises questions about the potential impact of these academic records on the Nigerian Supreme Court’s decision.