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Atiku urges US court to reject Tinubu’s objections on order for academic records release


Atiku urges US court to reject Tinubu’s objections on order for academic records release

Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has urged the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago to reject President Bola Tinubu’s objections concerning an order for Chicago State University (CSU) to release all of his academic records no later than October 2, 2023.

In an application filed at the court on September 27, Atiku dismissed Tinubu’s objection and his suit’s description as a “fishing expedition,” which he claimed has no bearing on the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s presidential election petition case.

Atiku stated that the demand for the release of academic records was not a fishing exercise but to verify the authenticity of 12 pages of documents, including two different diplomas that CSU allegedly issued and the basis of CSU’s claim that Tinubu graduated in 1979, given the discrepancies and his affidavit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Atiku further stated that any discovery obtained from the case would be sent to Nigeria by October 4, to be filed with the Supreme Court by October 5.

READ ALSO: Tinubu to US Judge: Release my certificate to Atiku, keep CSU from disclosing gender, other admission details

“The Court should overrule the objections in their entirety. If the Court overrules the objections, the applicant respectfully requests that it enter an order requiring the production of documents no later than October 2, 2023, and the deposition scheduled no later than October 3, to allow time for transcripts to be finalised, and the discovery obtained to be sent to Nigeria (which is six (6) hours ahead) by October 4 so that such evidence may, in turn, be filed with the Supreme Court by October 5, which is when applicant’s Nigerian counsel intend to submit any new evidence to the Supreme Court,” he said.

Recall that on August 2, 2023, Atiku filed a suit at the US court, demanding that CSU release all of Tinubu’s academic records over irregularities in the certificate he submitted to INEC. This move was prompted by Atiku’s belief that these documents would help clarify what he said were inconsistencies in Tinubu’s background.

The former vice president argued that amongst other things, a “second Chicago State University diploma dated June 27, 1979, that bears the name “Bola Ahmed Tinubu “has since emerged but also presents with a different font, punctuation, seal, and signatures, than that of the June 22, 1979 diploma, among other alleged discrepancies.”

Last week, Tinubu asked the court to permit CSU to release only his certificate to Atiku but block the school from revealing any other information about the person who owns the certificate.

He requested that these sensitive pieces of information such as gender, and where the person went to school, among others, should be kept confidential after Jeffrey Gilbert, a US magistrate judge, ordered the university to produce “all relevant and non-privileged documents” to Atiku within two days.

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