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Legal Battle in U.S. Over Nigerian Presidential Candidate’s Academic Records Heats Up

September 11, 2023

A federal court in the United States is fast-tracking Atiku Abubakar’s request to subpoena Chicago State University (CSU) for President Bola Tinubu’s academic records. This move comes as Abubakar faces a tight deadline of just 14 days to appeal the judgment of the election petitions tribunal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, using the requested academic records.

 

 

 

 

 

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago has rescheduled the in-person arguments for lawyers representing Abubakar, Tinubu, and CSU from September 15 to September 12, citing “exigent circumstances.” This decision was based on court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette.

Judge Jeffrey Gilbert explained, “Upon further reflection, in light of the exigent circumstances presented by the Application and to account for the possibility of any appeal of the Court’s ruling, this matter is set for hearing in-person on 9/12/23 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 1386.” It’s anticipated that a ruling on the matter will be made during the week.

To prevent further delays, the Court has asked CSU to file any objections to the scope of the requested records by 5:00 p.m. on September 11. The school had previously been given more time to file objections to the broadness of the subpoenas.

This legal drama unfolded shortly after a panel of five appellate justices dismissed petitions against the incumbent president. An aggrieved Abubakar sought the expedited issuance of the CSU subpoena to meet the 14-day deadline for filing an appeal with Nigeria’s Supreme Court.

However, his U.S. lawyers were initially unaware of a recent update to the filing deadline for election-related appeals, which now stands at 14 days.

While Tinubu’s lawyers argue that the academic records are no longer critical due to the lapse in the evidence submission deadline, Abubakar’s legal team cited a Supreme Court rule that allows the introduction of crucial evidence under special circumstances, which they believe the release of these records would constitute.

President Bola Tinubu’s background has long been shrouded in secrecy, despite his significant role in Nigerian politics. This legal battle sheds light on the quest for transparency surrounding his early life and education, amidst claims and controversies related to his past involvement in Chicago’s narcotics business.

Credit: Peoples Gazette

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