Why Atiku Can’t Use My Chicago University Records Against Me In Nigerian Election Tribunal, Tinubu Tells U.S. Court
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has told the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, cannot use his (Tinubu) Chicago State University (CSU) academic records against him at the Nigerian presidential election petition tribunal.
Tinubu described Atiku’s attempt to access his (Tinubu) University records as a wild goose chase because it was already too late as the Nigerian court was no longer admitting evidence.
Following the discrepancies in Tinubu’s credentials, Atiku, who is challenging the election of Tinubu approached the US District Court to subpoena CSU into releasing the president’s academic records to aid his argument at the elections tribunal in Nigeria before September 21 when judgment is anticipated.
Atiku is seeking nullification of Tinubu’s election on the grounds of alleged electoral fraud, narcotics dealing and election irregularities at the tribunal, where he hopes to tender Tinubu’s CSU academic records as evidence to substantiate his claims against the President.
However, Tinubu in his defence at the U.S. court said it was unnecessary to release his CSU records to Atiku as deadlines for admitting any evidence in the elections tribunal elapsed in July.
It quoted Tinubu as saying in his response to an application for issue of discovery on August 23 through his lawyers, Chicago-based Charles Carmichael and Oluwole Afolabi: “Furthermore, the evidentiary portion of the electoral court proceeding closed July 29, 2023, and a judgment is currently in the process of issuing. (Exhibit 7, Report of Pre-Hearing Session.) Therefore, there is no indication that the Nigerian election court would receive any additional evidence.”
According to him, the case in Nigeria has advanced to the stage where all parties are only awaiting judgment and any submission of evidence by Atiku would only contradict the court’s order.
“Although Mr Abubakar’s counsel believes it can attempt to submit additional evidence, that would be contrary to what the election court already ordered.
“Based on the nature of the tribunal and the proceedings underway, the electoral court would not allow the material sought by the application to be admitted,” he said.
Tinubu’s lawyers further contended that the main piece of information requested by Mr Abubakar was whether the Nigerian leader had received a diploma and graduated from CSU, which the university registrar verified in its affidavit, and that the other pieces of information sought were irrelevant.
“The rest is immaterial,” the lawyers stated.