Tinubu begs US court not to release his privileged documents but only certificate to Atiku


STAY YOUR WAY: Tinubu, left, and Atiku, right, appear to be telling each other. A photo file from the archive.

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Like a twist of fate, Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday September 25, 2023, filed a fresh plea praying a United States District Judge, Nancy Maldonado, to order Chicago State University not to release his privileged records such as admission records, transcripts and gender.

Tinubu, who jad pleaded in his emergency appeal earlier, said the university should be asked to release only his certificate to the legal team of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

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Atiku is seeking disclosure of Tinubu’s records including exactly what the President is insisting must not be released to expose identity theft to prove in Nigeria’s Supreme Court that ought not to have been allowed in the first place to contest for allocation.

The motion filed by Tinubu’s lawyer partly read, “The most critical fact has already been clearly and unequivocally established by Chicago State University: Intervenor was awarded the degree as he stated. This point is irrelevant to the applicant because he is not seeking anything more than opposition research on a political opponent.

“The magistrate judge clearly erred in granting the application for discovery and concluding that Chicago State University must respond to the document and deposition subpoenas. 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.”

The development is coming two days after the self-acclaimed classmate of the president, Olajide Adeniji, testified in the US district court that he knows and contested against Tinubu as President of the Accounting Society Club at the Department of Business Admin/Accounting in the same Chicago State University.

In the oath he took on September 23 at the Northern District of Illinois Court in Chicago, Adeniji swore that he was familiar with the same Tinubu who is the current president of Nigeria.

But Atiku’s camp has sworn to resist Tinubu’s recent move, saying it was obvious the President was hiding something from Nigerians.

In an exclusive chat with our correspondent, Phrank Shaibu, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Atiku, said that they have up to 48 hours to respond to the motion in the US court.

He said, “We are aware Tinubu’s counsel filed a motion on Monday praying the US court to order Chicago State University to release only the president’s certificate.

“We are wondering why a man will demand they conceal his gender and other little details in his academic transcript. But we (Atiku’s legal team) will respond to them in the next 48 hours. The judgment will be entered by Wednesday or Thursday.”

Also, the Director of Research and Strategy of the Atiku/Okowa 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Pedro Obaseki, alleged that the claim by Tinubu that the release of his record to the public would cause him personal pain was because the owner of the disputed certificate is a woman.

Speaking at a Zoom conference hosted by a London-based psychologist, Gold Emmanuel on Monday, Obaseki said CSU would only confirm what Atiku’s camp already knew by making public the record of Tinubu who graduated from the institution in the late 70s.

He said, “Nigerians will be more demoralised that the owner of the certificate that President Tinubu is parading is a woman. We already know it as a fact, but we are seeking the release of the documents officially by CSU.”

Speaking further in pidgin, Obaseki asked, “Wetin the man dey hide, we already have it. The outcome will give many Nigerians more heart attacks.”

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