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US court orders delay of release of President Tinubu’s academic records

Judge Nancy Maldonado of a United States court has concurred with delaying an order instructing Chicago State University to provide President Bola Tinubu’s academic documents to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s legal team.

The hearing occurred late Thursday night when the president’s lawyers submitted an emergency motion to postpone the enforcement of the self-effectuating order that required CSU to comply with Atiku’s subpoenas until Monday.

On Tuesday, Jeffrey Gilbert directed Tinubu’s alma mater to furnish all relevant and non-privileged documents to Atiku within two days.

The documents Atiku, the People’s Democratic Party candidate, sought via his counsel, Angela Liu, included records of admission, acceptance at the university, attendance dates, degrees, awards, and honors obtained by the former Lagos State governor while at the university, among other information.

However, the President’s legal team contended that Gilbert’s earlier decision needed a review by a district judge.

Tinubu’s legal team’s statement

Speaking to The PUNCH via a phone conversation from the United States, Babatunde Ogala, the Coordinator of Tinubu’s Presidential Legal Team, clarified that their request was for a review and not an appeal, as misrepresented in the media.

To underscore his point, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria emphasized that the US magistrate lacked the authority to issue an order mandating the university to release non-privileged information; he could only make a recommendation.

Approval of the delay request

The US district judge approved the request for a review and postponement of the order until Monday.

During the emergency hearing, Maldonado noted her awareness of legal deadlines in Nigeria and committed to ruling on the matter as expeditiously as possible.

She remarked,

  • ‘I will have a busy weekend. The issue is about processes and rules. I am a stickler for rules; that’s why I am a judge. This case is quite intricate. I understand the significance. Getting it right is more crucial to me than anything else.’”

 


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