Nigerian President files objection to US court order to release academic records
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu ahs objected to the release of his Chicago State University (CSU) records to the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu pleaded that if the court was inclined to grant Atiku’s application for discovery, it should be limited to only his diploma certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the 2023 presidential election, which he won.
But Director of Research and Documentation, Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, said the reason Atiku insisted on open and full disclosure of Tinubu’s credentials by the CSU was because they actually belonged to a woman.
Obaseki made the allegation during a zoom conference hosted by London-based psychologist, Professor Gold Emmanuel.
In his latest plea to the court, Tinubu said, “That conclusion should be set aside and the application should be denied because the information sought cannot be used and, therefore, is not ‘for use’ in the foreign proceedings.
“Even if a narrow subset of information can be considered ‘for use’ in the foreign proceeding, that is limited to the diploma submitted to INEC. Fishing expeditions into other documents and more document productions must be precluded.”
Tinubu, through his lawyer, Mr Christopher Carmichael, made the plea before Judge Nancy Maldonado, a judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of a Magistrate Court in Chicago had issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku to enable him prove allegations of forgery and perjury he levelled against Tinubu at the presidential election tribunal.
Atiku had argued that Tinubu ought not to be on the ballot on the grounds of presenting false and forged documents to INEC.
The main opposition party candidate had pointed out that there was variation in the dates in Tinubu’s Diploma certificate, adding that other documents relating to Tinubu’s record in the institution showed the president as a female.