US court orders Chicago State University to release Tinubu’s academic record within 48 hours

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rejected President Bola Tinubu’s appeal to prevent the release of his academic credentials by Chicago State University (CSU) to Atiku Abubakar. Tinubu had filed an appeal against the ruling of Judge Jeffrey Gilbert, ordering CSU to release his records to Abubakar, who contested the 2023 Nigerian presidential election under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In a ruling on Tinubu’s emergency application, Judge Nancy Maldonado overruled his objections and adopted Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling. The ruling allows Atiku Abubakar access to the documents, directing CSU to produce relevant and non-privileged documents in response to Abubakar’s subpoena by October 2, 2023. Additionally, the deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be completed by October 3, 2023.

Abubakar initiated the action under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, seeking documents and testimony related to Tinubu’s academic qualifications. Abubakar alleged that Tinubu submitted a forged diploma to the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), claiming he graduated from CSU. This alleged fraud, if proven, could disqualify Tinubu from participating in the presidential election.

The court’s decision means that CSU will have to produce the requested documents and testimony, potentially impacting the validity of Tinubu’s election and adding further complexity to the political landscape in Nigeria.

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