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Produce ‘Relevant, Non-Privileged’ Academic Records For Atiku By Noon On Monday – U.S. Court to Chicago University; Denies Tinubu’s Emergency Appeal

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – President Bola Tinubu has lost his emergency appeal to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago to stop Chicago State University from releasing his academic records to Atiku Abubakar.

In her ruling on Tinubu’s emergency application in case No. 23 CV 05099, Judge Nancy L. Maldonado overruled “President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling, and therefore adopts the ruling in full”.

Recall that it was reported on September 23 that Tinubu appealed against the ruling of Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert, sitting at the United States’ District Court of Northern Illinois which ordered the Chicago State University (CSU) to release all relevant records pertaining to him to Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

It was earlier reported how the federal court in Chicago, while ruling on the civil case filed by Atiku Abubakar granted the applicant’s request to the court, stating that the former Vice President had been able to sufficiently satisfy the purpose for seeking the records.

US Court Orders Chicago University To Release President Tinubu’s Non-Privileged Academic Records To Atiku Abubakar Within Two Days
Sep 20, 2023.

Tinubu subsequently pleaded with Judge Nancy Maldonado to block all other details, especially the gender and admission records, among others of the owner of the certificate.

Atiku brought the case before the court in an effort to establish that Tinubu was not eligible to be Nigerian president despite his election in February 2023 and that he tendered a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

President Tinubu Appeals US Court Judgement Ordering Chicago University To Release His Academic Records.

INEC had declared Tinubu as the winner of the election, saying Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party came second and Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third.

In the judgment obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday, Justice Maldonado ruled, “For the foregoing reasons, the Court overrules President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling, and therefore adopts the ruling in full.

“Mr. Abubakar’s Application is therefore granted. In light of the pending Supreme Court of Nigeria deadline, represented to the Court as October 5, 2023, and based on CSU’s representations that it is ready to comply with the discovery requests and produce a witness, the Court sets an expedited schedule for completion of discovery.”

Justice Maldonado therefore directed CSU “to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents in response to Requests for Production Nos. 1 through 4 (as narrowed by Judge Gilbert and adopted here) in Mr. Abubakar’s subpoena, by 12:00 p.m. (noon) CDT, on Monday, October 2, 2023. The Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be completed by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2023”.

“Given the October 5, 2023, filing deadline before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Court will not extend or modify these deadlines,” she added.

The ruling titled Memorandum Opinion and Order also read, “Atiku Abubakar initiated this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782, a federal statute that allows a federal district court to order a person or entity within the district to produce documents or testimony for use in a foreign legal proceeding.

“Mr. Abubakar is a former Vice President of Nigeria and was a candidate for president in Nigeria’s February 2023 presidential election. Mr. Abubakar seeks an order under 28 US.C. § 1782 directing Chicago State University (“CSU), which is located in this district, to produce certain documents and testimony related to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the declared winner of the February 2023 Nigerian presidential election.

“Mr. Abubakar has challenged the validity of President Tinubu’s election in Nigerian courts on a number of grounds, including a claim that President Tinubu submitted a forged diploma to the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC) stating that he graduated from CSU.

“Mr. Abubakar contends the fraudulent submission would have disqualified President Tinubu from participating in the election, and he therefore seeks records and testimony from CSU related to President Tinubu’s diploma, and his graduation from CSU, to support Mr. Abubakar’s challenge to the election results.”