Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has assembled his legal team, gearing up for a legal showdown in the United States as they prepare to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s plea to prevent Chicago State University (CSU) from releasing privileged documents related to his academic records.
Atiku’s Special Adviser on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, revealed that the legal team has a 48-hour window to respond to Tinubu’s motion in the US court. This development comes after Atiku successfully obtained an order requiring CSU to provide access to Tinubu’s academic records to his legal team.
Magistrate Jeffrey Gilbert had previously ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to furnish the applicant, Atiku, with all relevant and non-privileged documents within two days. Atiku is currently contesting the victory of the former Lagos State governor, Tinubu, in the 2023 presidential election, including his recent affirmation by an election petition court in Nigeria.
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The documents sought by Atiku’s legal team include records of Tinubu’s admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance, degrees earned, awards, and honors received during his time at the institution.
As the deadline set by Magistrate Gilbert approached, Tinubu’s lawyers submitted a request for a review of the order and a delay until Monday, which was granted by a US district judge.
Tinubu’s legal team presented two main arguments in their application. First, they contended that the academic records in question would not be useful in Nigerian courts, as Nigerian election proceedings and courts have historically been unreceptive to such discovery. Secondly, they argued that Atiku’s request was overly intrusive, allowing for an unwarranted invasion of Tinubu’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.
When asked about Atiku’s response, Phrank Shaibu assured that the former vice president would submit the motion before the midnight deadline. The timeline for the court’s ruling on the matter will be determined after both parties have presented their arguments.
Babatunde Ogala, the Coordinator of Tinubu’s Presidential Legal Team, declined to comment on the situation, citing his vacation status.
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