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Tinubu’s Academic History Under Scrutiny: August 23 deadline set

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Tinubu’s Academic History Under Scrutiny: August 23 deadline set

Story from Saleh INUWA, Kano

President Bola Tinubu faces a looming deadline of August 23 to provide compelling reasons for preventing Chicago State University (CSU) from releasing his academic records to his political rival, Atiku Abubakar.

The directive was set on August 9 by Jeffrey Gilbert, the newly assigned magistrate judge at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

Earlier this month, Mr. Abubakar sought court approval to subpoena Mr. Tinubu’s files held by CSU, aiming to clarify discrepancies in Mr. Tinubu’s background.

Publicly available documents had suggested that a female student named Bola Tinubu, born on March 29, 1954, was admitted to CSU in the 1970s.

This contradicted Mr. Tinubu’s claim of being born on March 29, 1952, and his varied birth year listings over time. He had also recently removed his primary and secondary education details from his records after it was revealed that the schools he listed for his 1999 gubernatorial run in Lagos did not exist in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Tinubu blocks release of University records in election dispute

Mr. Abubakar believed that these requested records could shed light on Mr. Tinubu’s early and high school papers submitted to CSU prior to his admission to study accounting.

In response to Mr. Abubakar’s move, Mr. Tinubu swiftly filed a motion opposing the request, citing a U.S. privacy law for students.

However, the court showed interest in moving the case forward following Mr. Abubakar’s argument regarding jurisdiction. The judge established a deadline of August 23 for Mr. Tinubu to submit his reasoning against releasing his records to Mr. Abubakar.

Moreover, the U.S. court ordered Mr. Abubakar to respond to Mr. Tinubu’s argument by September 9, two weeks after the expected response from Mr. Tinubu.

The court aimed to make a decision before September 21, when Nigeria’s election petitions tribunal was expected to deliver its judgment on the lawsuit challenging Mr. Tinubu’s election victory.

Mr. Tinubu’s questionable academic history is just one of several grounds Mr. Abubakar’s legal team is pursuing in Nigerian courts to invalidate his presidency and future eligibility for elections. These claims span from drug dealing to money laundering and election fraud.

Despite being inaugurated as Nigerian president on May 29, Mr. Tinubu maintains that he attended CSU and downplays a narcotics scandal from the 1990s as a civil forfeiture proceeding with no bearing on his political aspirations.

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