Sunday, March 3, 2024

Severe, irreparable harm will be done to me if Chicago university releases my records, Tinubu begs U.S. senior judge

Chicago State University was ordered to release the documents to Atiku Abubakar on September 21.

• September 21, 2023
Atiku and Tinubu
Atiku and Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has pleaded before a United States judge to save him from suffering severe and irreparable damage by placing an emergency hold on a recent order for his university records to be released. 

Mr Tinubu said the damage he would suffer would be impossible to mitigate if the September 6 order directing the release of his academic records to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is not delayed for possible vacation. 

“Severe and irreparable harm will be done to Bola Tinubu if the records are released,” Mr Tinubu’s lawyer argued at an emergency appeal before Judge Nancy Maldonado of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

If the records are released, harm will be done and cannot be taken back to the bottle, Mr Tinubu’s lawyer added during the court hearing that began at 3:00 p.m. via telephone conference. Chicago State University was ordered to release the documents to Mr Abubakar today. 

The ongoing hearing seeks to stay the order before it goes into effect in about an hour.

At issue has been the subpoena application filed by Mr Abubakar seeking to obtain records of Mr Tinubu at Chicago State University, following widespread inconsistencies with the Nigerian president’s academic records already in the public domain.

Mr Abubakar’s application was granted in a judgement issued on Tuesday by Mr Gilbert, who ordered the production of the documents as well as the deposition of the school’s administrators. Mr Abubakar plans to use the records to demonstrate Mr Tinubu’s ineligibility for president, relying on the constitutional section that disqualifies a candidate who submitted a forged certificate to the electoral office INEC.

CSU officials have insisted that Mr Tinubu attended the school, but they they have also said they couldn’t authenticate his certificate under oath because they couldn’t tell where he found it. 

Mr Tinubu initially argued that the documents should not be released to Mr Abubakar because they would not be tenable before the Nigerian Supreme Court, where Abubakar now intends to file them as part of his appeal against a tribunal verdict that certified Mr Tinubu’s election on September 6. 

Mr Abubakar submitted his appeal to the Supreme Court on September 19, the same day Judge Gilbert ordered CSU to release Mr Tinubu’s records within two days. 

But as the 48-hour deadline loomed on Thursday afternoon, Mr Tinubu suddenly approached Ms Maldonado, seeking a delay, and suddenly elevating the desperate situation of the matter to include potential damage to Mr Tinubu’s life.

Judge Maldonado subsequently granted the application to delay the release of the documents, ordering all parties to file their full briefs by September 25.

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