Chicago State University responds to Atiku’s request to release Tinubu’s academic record

THE Chicago State University (CSU) has responded to a request by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, seeking to obtain academic records of President Bola Tinubu at the institution.

Abubakar went to a US Court to force the institution to release an acceptance letter, attendance and other related document of Tinubu’s undergraduate days in the school.

Atiku, through his lawyer, Angela M. Liu, is requesting documents that include records of his enrollment and admittance to the University, dates of attendance, as well as any degrees, honours, and honours Tinubu may have received at the institution.

Atiku informed the Court that the subpoena was issued to investigate the accuracy and truth of Tinubu’s claims, adding that Tinubu is currently the president of Nigeria and is involved in numerous legal battles over his election and the validity of documents proving his enrollment at Chicago State University.

In its response, the CSU restated that President Tinubu is a graduate of the institution.

In a document shared by the PDP on its official Twitter account on Thursday, August 24, the CSU said it needs to understand why Tinubu’s academic records could have any bearing on a 2023 election challenge in a foreign country.

However, it stated that Tinubu’s academic record would be made public whenever an order is issued by a court in the United States (US).

“Bola Tinubu, the President of Nigeria, graduated from the University in 1979.

“One of his political opponents, Abubakar, seeks discovery from the University of Tinubu’s student records and information about the dates and circumstances certain diplomas were issued by the University, asserting such discovery is pertinent to a Nigerian proceeding challenging Tinubu’s election earlier this year.

“The student records Abubakar seeks from the University via a documents subpoena (Doc.1-1) and the information Abubakar seeks the University to provide pursuant to a deposition subpoena (Dec. 1-2) concem Tinubu’s private educational records. But since Tinubu has intervened to oppose this discovery, the University defers to Tinubu on the privacy issues implicated by Abubakar’s Application,” the statement reads.

The University said it struggles to understand how-given that Tinubu did, in fact, graduate from the University in 1979-Tinubu’s grades and other student records from the 1970s and date and signatory information on subsequently issued ceremonial diplomas could have any bearing on a 2023 election challenge in a foreign country.

The University admitted that it is not familiar with the issues in the Nigerian proceeding or the evidentiary and other legal principles applicable therein.

Accordingly, the CSU said it defers to Tinubu, who is involved in that foreign proceeding, to move objections to the Atiku’s application.

“The University respectfully requests that this Court, in ruling on the application, scrutinize both the actual status of the Nigerian proceeding and the likelihood that any discovery information provided by the University would, in fact, be considered in the Nigerian proceeding.

“The University Reserves Objections to the Scope of the Discovery Sought by Abubakar. Finally, in the event the Court determines to allow any discovery to proceed here, the University urges the Court to direct only limited, targeted discovery on the University.

The CSU added that without limiting further objections, the University notes that the scope and relevancy of Abubakar’s requests are inappropriate.

In conclusion, the institution stated that following the Court’s ruling on the request, should any discovery be permitted, it will meet and confer promptly and in good faith with Abubakar’s counsel to attempt to address all the University’s concerns.

On Tuesday, August 1, the Presidential Election Tribunal reserved judgment on the petitions filed by Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) against the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

    In different suits, Atiku and Obi are challenging President Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

    In Atiku’s case, the respondents in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tinubu and the All Progressives Party (APC).

    After adopting the parties’ final written addresses, the Tribunal reserved judgment on the petition.

    The Chairman of the Tribunal, Simon Haruna Tsammani, announced that the verdict would be given at a later time that would be made known to all parties.

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