U.S. court gives CSU Monday deadline to release Tinubu’s academic records
The United States District Court in Northern Illinois has ruled that Chicago State University (CSU) must release President Bola Tinubu’s academic records to Nigerian opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar by noon on Monday.
The documents are sought for use in Nigerian courts to support allegations that Mr. Tinubu forged a diploma certificate he claimed to have obtained from CSU in 1979 and submitted to Nigeria’s electoral body for the 2023 presidential election.
The court, presided over by Judge Nancy Maldonado, dismissed Mr. Tinubu’s objections and affirmed a prior ruling by a magistrate judge, Jeffery Gilbert. The judge maintained that Atiku had the right to access these records.
The ruling stipulated that CSU must produce relevant and non-privileged documents by 12:00 p.m. (noon) CDT on Monday, October 2, 2023, and that a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be completed by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
Atiku Abubakar had previously lost his case against Mr. Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Court but intended to reintroduce the issue with documents from CSU in his appeal to the Nigerian Supreme Court.
The court cautioned Mr. Tinubu against applying for a stay of the order, stating that such an application would be denied, given the time constraints for filing the documents in Nigeria’s Supreme Court. His only option for a stay of execution was to apply at the US Court of Appeals.
The court ordered CSU to release four sets of documents related to Mr. Tinubu, including exemplars of a diploma issued to him in 1979, any exemplar diploma that matches the purported CSU diploma submitted by Mr. Tinubu, and CSU documents certified and produced by an associate general counsel at CSU, Jamar Orr, along with related communications.
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