U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Gilbert from the Northern District of Illinois has directed Chicago State University (CSU) to disclose the academic records of President Bola Tinubu.
The ruling, issued on Tuesday, instructs CSU to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to Abubakar Atiku, the plaintiff, within a two-day timeframe.
“For all of the reasons discussed above, Atiku Abubakar’s application pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 for an order directing discovery from Chicago State University for use in a foreign proceeding [ECF No. 1] is granted,” Gilbert ruled.
“Respondent CSU shall produce all relevant and non-privileged documents in response to requests for production Nos. 1 through 4 (as narrowed by the court) in applicant subpoena within two days of the entry of this memorandum opinion and order,” he added.
Although widely hailed as a victory for Atiku, there are indications that Atiku may not gain access to additional information beyond what CSU has already made public, as Tinubu’s legal team contended that their client was not willing to waive his privacy privilege.
The University, in its deposition before the court, consistently confirmed Tinubu’s attendance and graduation in 1979.
“Atiku will not receive a copy of any certificate from the US. He is only left with a copy of Tinubu’s academic records, including the admission letter and exam sheets,” on keen observer of the case tweeted @Renerodrig1142.
The observer ad social commentator added: “This settlement holds no relevance to the case in Nigeria, making it a total waste of effort.”
Abubakar had sought this information to support his petition against Bola Tinubu’s election.
Section 137 (1)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution (amended in 2010) specifically stated that no one would be legitimately elected president of Nigeria if the person “has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
On Tuesday, Abubakar approached the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which affirmed Tinubu’s election on 6th September.
Atiku’s Notice of Appeal, based on 35 grounds, emphasized that the tribunal had erred in its findings and conclusions.
He urged the apex court to nullify the presidential election held on Feb. 25, citing non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022, and misrepresentation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contrary to the principles of the Electoral Act 2022 based on the “doctrine of legitimate expectation”.