The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rubbished President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s appeal and ordered Chicago State University (CSU) to release his academic records to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Recall that Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, had ordered the immediate release of the academic records of Tinubu by the CSU.
Tinubu had objected to the Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert ruling ordering the immediate release of the academic records by the CSU.
According to the President, releasing the documents with deposition would cause him severe harm because they were private to him and would not be admissible in the ongoing petition against him in Nigeria.
Atiku, who contested the February 25 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been seeking Tinubu’s academic records to establish that he presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, on Saturday, September 30, 2023, a United States Judge, Nancy Maldonado, has adopted all the rulings of Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, ordering the immediate release of the academic records of Tinubu by the CSU.
Maldonado said the decision of a lower federal magistrate judge on September 19 was appropriate and adopted it in full.
“The Court overrules President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling, and therefore adopts the ruling in full. Mr Abubakar’s application is therefore granted,” the judge ruled.
The Judge also gave CSU until noon on Monday to release the documents and the deposition of officials of CSU completed by 5pm CDT on Tuesday.
“In light of the pending Supreme Court of Nigeria deadline, represented to the court as October 5, 2023, and based on CSU’s representations that it is ready to comply with the discovery requests and produce a witness, the court sets an expedited schedule for completion of discovery,” the judge said.
Maldonado warned that any attempt by Tinubu to appeal the judgement in the district would no longer be tolerated as Abubakar must transfer the collected evidence to the Nigeria’s Supreme Court for use in an ongoing election petition case by October 5.
The judge, however, said Tinubu is free to file his appeal directly before the Seventh Circuit – an appellate court overseeing Illinois and nearby states.