U.S. Court Orders Chicago University to Release Bola Tinubu’s Records in Two Days.
- Nigerian Opposition Leader Secures Victory as Legal Battle Over President Tinubu’s Eligibility Heats Up.
Chicago, IL – In a significant legal development, a federal court in Chicago has issued an order directing Chicago State University (CSU) to release all records pertaining to Bola Tinubu to Atiku Abubakar within the next two days.
This decision comes as part of Atiku Abubakar’s ongoing efforts to challenge Bola Tinubu’s eligibility for the Nigerian presidency.
Judge Jeffrey Gilbert, presiding over the case, also mandated that designated CSU officials provide a deposition within two days of the release of these documents. This deposition can even take place on a weekend if necessary.
Atiku Abubakar had previously filed an application for the court to compel CSU to produce documents related to Bola Tinubu and to obtain the school’s administrators’ testimony to authenticate any documents submitted under oath.
The basis of Abubakar’s challenge revolves around allegations that Bola Tinubu submitted a forged document under oath in violation of the Nigerian Constitution.
Specifically, Section 137 (1)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution (amended in 2010) stipulates that no individual can be legitimately elected as President of Nigeria if they “have presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
In June 2022, Bola Tinubu submitted a certificate to INEC, purportedly issued in 1979 and signed by Elnora Daniel. However, discrepancies arose as Elnora Daniel only arrived at CSU in 1998, 19 years after Tinubu’s alleged graduation. Furthermore, she departed the institution in 2008, 14 years before CSU issued yet another certificate in Tinubu’s name in June 2022, following a subpoena from a Nigerian lawyer.
During a hearing on September 12, CSU’s lawyer, Michael Hayes, stated that the school could not authenticate Bola Tinubu’s certificate if asked under oath, even though he acknowledged Tinubu’s attendance and graduation in 1979.
Tinubu’s legal team argued against granting Abubakar’s application, branding it a frivolous endeavor aimed at tarnishing the Nigerian president’s reputation. They also contended that the Nigerian Supreme Court would not accept fresh evidence that had not been presented during the tribunal proceedings.
In response, Atiku Abubakar’s legal team, led by Angela Liu, argued that the Supreme Court would consider the new facts, especially since they were not available during the Court of Appeal proceedings, which serve as the primary court in a presidential election dispute.
Judge Gilbert emphasized that courts throughout the U.S. have typically adopted a broad and liberal stance when granting applications under Section 1782, a statute that permits the retrieval and use of documents and evidence stored in the U.S. for foreign proceedings.
Culled from Gazette