The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ordered Chicago State University (CSU) to release the credentials of President Bola Tinubu to Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu’s credentials show that he graduated from CSU in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting and management; but there have been allegations bordering on discrepancies in his certificate.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, had approached the court seeking to compel the university to release Tinubu’s records on the grounds that the documents would strengthen his suit challenging the president’s electoral victory.
On September 19, Jeffrey Gilbert, a US magistrate judge, granted the request and ordered CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records within 24 hours.
Tinubu, however, filed an appeal against the order. Atiku also asked the US district court to overrule Tinubu’s objection.
The university also said it will release the president’s files if a US court grants the order.
In a memorandum opinion and order issued by Nancy Maldonado, the judge, the court overruled Tinubu’s objections to the application filed by Atiku seeking the release of the president’s record with the university.
“In the reasons stated in this Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court overrules President Tinubu’s objections and adopts Judge Gilbert’s recommended decision in full,” the court said.
“The Court therefore grants Mr. Abubakar’s application under 28 U.S.C 1782. CSU is directed to respond to Mr. Abubakar’s subpoena in the time and manner provided for below. In reaching this conclusion, the Court emphasizes that it is expressing no view on the merits of Mr. Abubakar’s claims regarding President Tinubu’s graduation from CSU, or on the validity of the Nigerian election.
“Nor is the Court taking any position on what any of the documents or testimony from CSU may or may not ultimately show. These are all matters for the Nigerian courts to resolve under the Nigerian law, and it is not appropriate for this U.S. Court to opine on such issues or attempt to predict how foreign courts might ultimately rule if and when they are presented with any evidence from CSU.”