After Tinubu’s plea, judge delays release of his academic records to Atiku
Following the pleas by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the release of his academic records to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will cause severe and irreparable damage to his life, Judge Nancy Maldonado of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has placed an immediate stay on the release of his university records.
Mr Tinubu, through his lawyers, pleaded with Ms Maldonado, a district judge, that the September 6 order of Judge Jeffrey Gilbert should be delayed.
The judge agreed that the matter might be too severe for Mr Tinubu to bear and granted a stay until further argument on the matter.
‘This needs to be handled with care,” Mrs Maldonado said.
The judge gave Mr Tinubu’s lawyers until Monday to file a full brief on the matter before the court. Atiku Abubakar’s lawyers said they would reply to the brief, according to the Peoples Gazette report.
“I may ultimately adopt the magistrate’s recommendation and allow the discovery to go forward, or I can ask all parties to file briefs afresh,” the judge added.
NewsBand reports that Mr Abubakar is seeking to obtain records of Tinubu at Chicago State University, following widespread inconsistencies with the Nigerian president’s academic records which has become a subject of public debate.
Abubakar’s application was granted in a landmark judgement issued on Tuesday by Mr Gilbert, who ordered the production of the documents as well as the deposition of the school’s administrators.
The former Vice President 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.
Also, 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.
“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.