CSU: Nothing to celebrate in Atiku’s pyrrhic victory – Onoh
President Bola Tinubu’s campaign former spokesman in the southeast, Dr. Josef Onoh has described as the ‘Ajasco dance’ the celebration of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his supporters over the Judgement of the United States court that ordered the Chicago State University to release the certificate of the Nigeria President.
Jeffrey Gilbert, a US magistrate Judge had ordered the Chicago State University to release Tinubu’s credentials as requested by Atiku, which brought celebration to Atiku’s supporters.
Onoh however countered Atiku’s celebration, describing it as a pyrrhic victory that has no deviation from the previous order of the court that had given a similar order to release the certificate.
He described as baseless, Atiku’s argument that President Tinubu’s second Chicago State University diploma had emerged, dated June 27, 1979, with an alleged difference from the June 22, 1979 diploma.
Onoh said it was unfortunate the inability of some gullible public not to understand that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as amended in 1974 has already covered issues raised by Atiku.
According to Onoh, FERPA establishes the right of students to inspect and review their education records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
“So Atiku has nothing to celebrate about. He told the US that he wanted to authenticate these documents, whether a Chicago State University diploma in the name of Bola Ahmed Tinubu dated June 22, 1979, that was submitted to the INEC before the Nigerian presidential election in February 2023 is genuine or was forged.
“Atiku said that under Nigerian law, the submission of a fraudulent document to the INEC would have disqualified President Tinubu from participating in the election.
“Now, when Atiku filed his application in the US district court on August 2, his petition challenging the presidential election was pending before the Nigerian Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Atiku said his application in the US court was to obtain discoveries that would support his petitions in the Nigerian court of appeal.
“For issues of clarity I wish to state that the Nigerian Court of Appeal declined to consider issues related to President Tinubu’s educational background that had not been included in Petition but rather were belatedly raised for the first time in Atiku’s petition.
“Hence, even if Atiku returns from his wild expedition, he will still meet the same empty dinner table and no guests to serve his oysters because they have gone out of season.
“The US Eastern Illinois court that ordered the Chicago State University to release the academic records of President Bola Tinubu to Atiku was clear and specific while handing down the ruling in favour of Atiku with the right and cleverly taking the keys with the left.
“When Jeffrey Gilbert of US magistrate judge, gave the ruling on ordering the university to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents to Atiku within two days. This means that Chicago State University is only limited to providing all documents not protected by the FERPA to Atiku. Unfortunately, some of the documents requested by Atiku are FERPA-protected.
“So, clearly there is nothing new to celebrate, the reason being that The Chicago State University already complied with the order even before the magistrate granted Atiku his order. CSU already confirmed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu attended the university and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree.
“However, the university stated that the United States’ federal law, prevents it from providing any further information about Tinubu’s record, without consent or unless allowed to do so via court order. Clearly, Atiku and his cohorts have nothing to celebrate as the court clearly stated that only non-privileged records may be issued to Atiku,” Onoh said.
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