June 13, 2024

A U.S. court has designated August 23 as the final date by which President Bola Tinubu must present compelling arguments to counter the request for his academic records to be released by Chicago State University. This request comes from Atiku Abubakar, his competitor in the Nigerian presidential election held on February 25.

This time limit was established on August 9 by Jeffrey Gilbert, the newly assigned magistrate judge for the case at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, according to court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette.

The court has also instructed Atiku to provide his response to Tinubu’s arguments by September 9, a span of two weeks following the expected submission of Mr. Tinubu’s response.

The sequence of events suggests that the court is moving swiftly to reach a verdict before September 21, which is when Nigeria’s election petitions tribunal is likely to issue its decision regarding the lawsuit contesting Tinubu’s electoral victory.

Atiku, alongside Peter Obi from the Labour Party and their respective parties, filed petitions challenging the outcome of the presidential election.

On July 11, Atiku lodged a petition aimed at acquiring additional details regarding Tinubu’s academic history at Chicago State University. The documents being sought by Atiku, represented by his legal counsel Angela M. Liu, encompass records of Tinubu’s admission, enrollment dates, earned degrees, accolades, and distinctions from the university.

Atiku informed the court that his request for Tinubu’s records was intended to verify the accuracy of Tinubu’s statements. Atiku emphasized that Tinubu holds the position of Nigeria’s President and is presently facing multiple legal proceedings regarding his election as well as the authenticity of documents related to his attendance at Chicago State University.

However, Tinubu has taken action to prevent the university from disclosing his educational records. Represented by his attorney Victor P. Henderson, Tinubu has asked the court to dismiss the request, arguing that no judge from the court authorized Atiku’s subpoena.

Tinubu’s counsel contends that the petition lacks validity as it provides a mere six-day window for compliance, which falls short of the 14-day period stipulated by Rules 219 and 137 of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules. Henderson also asserts that Atiku’s actions constitute an “improper fishing expedition concerning a foreign public official” utilizing the Illinois court’s subpoena power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *