Embattled Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has 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.
But Mr Tinubu’s lawyers, led by Victor Henderson and Christopher Carmichael, insisted that the documents Mr Abubakar sought wouldn’t be admissible at the Supreme Court, they nonetheless appeared to anticipate the potential for an unfavourable ruling and consequently gave the judge an alternative direction of giving only an order for the school to certify strictly the certificate the president tendered to run for election.
Mr Gilbert’s ruling last week required CSU administrators to confirm under oath whether or not the certificate Mr Tinubu tendered in Nigeria was genuine. Also, the officials were mandated to show a certificate issued to a CSU graduate in 1979, with the person’s identification redacted, and to also turn over communications relating to a letter the school issued to Mr Tinubu in 2022.
Mr Tinubu feared that allowing the deposition of CSU officials to go forward could inflict severe, irreparable damage to his life, saying Mr Abubakar was only on a fishing expedition to fuel online conspiracy theories.