A United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois has granted the request of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, for the release of President Bola Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago State University.
The ruling was delivered by US Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert on Tuesday. The court has ordered Chicago State University to provide “all relevant and non-privileged documents” pertaining to President Tinubu’s academic history to Atiku Abubakar within two days.
This decision comes as a result of a legal battle between Atiku Abubakar and President Bola Tinubu, both prominent figures in Nigerian politics. Atiku Abubakar’s request to access President Tinubu’s academic records was met with opposition from Tinubu’s legal team, who argued for the preservation of their client’s privacy privilege.
Judge Jeffrey Gilbert’s ruling clarified that only “non-privileged documents” should be produced by Chicago State University. This distinction aims to balance transparency with the protection of personal privacy.
“This matter is before the Court on Atiku Abubakar’s Application Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 for an Order Directing Discovery from Chicago State University for Use in a Foreign Proceeding (“Application”) [ECF No. 1]. For the reasons discussed below, the Application is granted,” Gilbert said.
Atiku had commenced legal proceedings in an attempt to obtain a court order compelling the university to disclose Tinubu’s educational records.
This comes barely two weeks after the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal upheld Tinubu’s victory, Atiku and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, submitted 86 grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the verdict.
In separate appeals filed on Tuesday, both candidates requested the highest court to overturn the PEPT ruling and invalidate Tinubu’s election, citing various errors.
Atiku’s appeal is based on 35 grounds, challenging the tribunal’s decisions related to electronic transmission of results, Federal Capital Territory votes, and other crucial aspects.
Meanwhile, Obi’s appeal contests the September 6 judgment on 51 different grounds.