Honorable Nancy L. Maldonado has ordered Chicago state University to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents former Nigeria Vice President Atiku Abubakar requested.
She said that Atiku is entitled to the production of documents and testimony he seeks from CSU
The judge also ordered that the deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be completed on the 2nd of October by 5pm .
She gave tomorrow (Monday 2nd October) as the deadline. Judge Maldonado said that any request for a stay of this judgement from Tinubu’s lawyers, will be denied.
The document reads in part” Mr. Abubakar contends the fraudulent submission would have disqualified President Tinubu from
participating in the election, and he therefore seeks records and testimony from CSU related to President Tinubu’s diploma, and his graduation from CSU, to support Mr. Abubakar’s challenge to the election results.
“Mr. Abubakar does not just question the authenticity of one diploma, but also questions whether President Tinubu actually attended and received any undergraduate degree from CSU at all, notwithstanding the fact that CSU has stated that President Tinubu did attend and receive a degree on June 22, 1979. (Id.).
“In other words, while Mr. Abubakar’s challenge to the election results is tied to the submission of an allegedly fraudulent diploma, he has raised other broader claims in the same proceedings before the Court of Appeal about President Tinubu’s identity and graduation, as well as the authenticity and origin of other CSU documents that were obtained and produced as part of other Nigerian proceedings”
According to Nigerian US based journalist Jackson Ude, the most important thing is not the release of the documents by Chicago State University.
“The most important is the deposition on Tuesday where officials of the University would be questioned under oath on Bola Tinubu and the credentials he parades. A lot would be revealed”
This is a case that is widely being watched in the West African nation.
In that case Judge Nancy Maldonado last week said in court, “I’m aware of the time sensitivities in this case.” The Supreme Court of Nigeria is expected to rule next week if Tinubu violated the country’s election laws by submitting a false document to election officials there. It could mean his removal from office.
“This issue is of process and rules,” Maldonado said. “I’m a rule person; that’s why I’m a judge. This case is quite involved. I am aware of the stakes. It’s more important to me to get this right.”
Embattled Nigerian President Bola Tinubu had allowed a federal judge in the United States to give his university certificate to his political opponent Atiku Abubakar, but only the certificate.
Mr Tinubu wants the Judge to block Chicago State University, CSU from revealing gender, transcript and other admission records.
Mr Tinubu’s new stance came after he narrowly escaped full disclosure on September 21 by pleading severe harm to his life.
The legal battle continued Monday morning at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.
The case was brought by former Vice President, Mr Atiku Abubakar. He wants to establish that Mr Tinubu was not eligible to be Nigerian president despite his election in February 2023.
Tinubu won the election by 36 per cent of the vote beating Mr Abubakar and Peter Obi, who was Mr Abubakar’s running mate in the 2019 election.
“There is harm in allowing discovery on issues and documents outside the diploma,” Mr Tinubu’s lawyers said in their full briefing to the court seeking a review of Judge Jeffrey Gilbert’s order by Ms Maldonado, a district judge.
The identity of who was admitted into Chicago State University in the 1970s has been a hot issue after college transcripts emerged that indicated the school admitted a female Bola Tinubu from Southwest College Chicago in 1977.