• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Tinubu’s academic records: Legal battle to resume in US Court Monday

Explainer: What to know about Tinubu’s released academic records

The legal teams of President Bola Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, are poised to rekindle their legal battle over President Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago in a United States court on Monday.

A US District Judge, Nancy Maldonado, granted an order on Thursday to stay a directive compelling Chicago State University (CSU) to furnish Atiku’s legal team with President Tinubu’s academic documents. This decision came after the Tinubu’s lawyers filed an emergency motion late Thursday night, requesting a delay in implementing the self-executing order instructing CSU to comply with Atiku’s subpoenas until Monday.

Atiku is currently challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, where President Tinubu was declared the winner and subsequently affirmed by an election petition court in Nigeria.

Earlier, Magistrate Jeffrey Gilbert had ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to provide all pertinent and non-privileged documents to Atiku within a two-day timeframe. These documents included records of admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance, as well as degrees, awards, and honors achieved by the former Lagos State governor during his time at the university.

As the deadline set by Gilbert drew near on Thursday, Tinubu’s legal team approached Judge Maldonado, contending that Gilbert’s previous decision needed to be reviewed by a district judge. The request for a review and a delay of the order until Monday was subsequently granted.

During the emergency hearing, Judge Maldonado emphasised the importance of adhering to legal deadlines in Nigeria and committed to ruling on the matter promptly.

She stated, “I will have a busy weekend. The issue is of process and rules. I’m a rule person. That’s why I’m a judge. This case is quite involved. I am aware of the stakes. It’s more important to me to get this right.”

Read also:US Judge delays release of Tinubu’s Chicago result after appeal

Ahead of the upcoming court proceedings on Monday, Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, in a conversation with Punch newspaper emphasised the need for transparency, saying that President Tinubu should not be hiding anything.

Ibe said, “Nigerians should begin to take an interest in this matter. Nigerians should be asking questions about what is going on. Why should the President of Nigeria not be a product of due process, transparency, and accountability? It has never reached this low and it is unfortunate. We will get him.”

In response, the Coordinator of Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala, affirmed their readiness for Atiku’s next move. Ogala stated, “We submitted our application and the order has been suspended. We are starting all over again. If they like, let them do a Plan C. We are not sleeping either. We will meet them there.”

Read also: Tinubu files motion to stop academic records release to Atiku

Meanwhile, the New Nigeria Peoples Party called on President Tinubu to release his academic credentials to quell growing tension and suspicion among his critics. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yakubu Shemdam, emphasised the need for transparency to avoid distractions for the President.

Peter Obi’s campaign team, representing the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, also weighed in on the matter, asserting that President Tinubu needed to present his academic records to address the allegations effectively.

As the legal battle continues, questions regarding President Tinubu’s academic history and the transparency of the electoral process remain at the forefront of Nigerian politics.