Don’t Release My Documents To Atiku – Tinubu Tells Chicago University


President Bola Tinubu has formally requested Chicago State University (CSU) to refrain from releasing his academic records to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

On August 23rd, Tinubu’s legal team submitted a statement as part of his legal response to a lawsuit brought by Atiku at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The lawsuit demands the release of Tinubu’s academic records due to irregularities in the certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In his response, Tinubu attributed the discrepancies on the certificate issued by the university to a clerical error. According to the filings made by Tinubu’s lawyers, Oluwole Afolabi and Christopher Carmichael, the error was related to the date on Tinubu’s recently issued certificate, creating an “appearance of differences.”

This submission was made in accordance with Judge Jeffrey Gilbert’s directive to Tinubu to provide an explanation by August 23rd regarding the potential release of his academic records to Atiku.

Earlier in the same month, Atiku had sought court approval to subpoena Tinubu’s records, believing that these documents would help clarify inconsistencies in Tinubu’s educational background.

Accusations have arisen regarding discrepancies in Tinubu’s academic credentials. His records indicate that he graduated from CSU in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, and management.

In the lawsuit filed before the US district court, Atiku requested the court to subpoena Tinubu’s records from CSU, with the intention of settling the controversy surrounding Tinubu’s academic history and aiding the election petition tribunal.

In response, the university questioned the relevance of Tinubu’s academic records to a foreign election challenge in 2023 but stated its willingness to release the credentials if ordered by the court. However, the university requested specific guidance on the scope of the demands.

The university’s statement read: “If the court decides to proceed with any discovery, the university recommends limited and targeted exploration of the university’s records. The university also defers to Tinubu’s judgment on the appropriateness of the discovery information under relevant legal principles.”

The university’s counsel, Michael Hayes, further commented, “It is premature for the University to raise objections to the scope of the documents and information sought… the University notes that the scope and relevancy of certain of Abubakar’s requests are clearly inappropriate.”

On June 23rd, the presidential election petition tribunal admitted certified copies of Tinubu’s academic and professional records presented by Abubakar and the PDP. These documents include a BSc certificate from Chicago State University, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate, and a certificate of service from Mobil Nigeria Oil Plc. Tinubu’s legal team subsequently submitted 12 documents containing his educational records from CSU on July 4th.

The petitioners, Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), argued in court that Tinubu had manipulated his age and provided conflicting academic and personal records.

The tribunal has concluded proceedings on the case involving Tinubu and is expected to announce a judgment date.

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