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U.S Court Declines Request To Compel FBI, CIA, IRS To Release Files On Tinubu

A plea for the prompt release of President Bola Tinubu’s private information compiled by American law enforcement officials was turned down by a district court in Washington, D.C.

Aaron Greenspan, a proponent of open government in the United States, filed a motion requesting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other U.S. agencies immediately turn up whatever information they had planned to make public by the end of October.

Greenspan submitted the emergency request after Tinubu hired solicitors to oppose the publication on the grounds that it would violate his constitutional and legal rights, including his right to privacy.

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According to him, Tinubu was attempting to delay the document release in order to prevent any potential influence the disclosures would have on the ongoing election dispute at the Nigerian Supreme Court.

However, in her decision on Monday, Judge Beryl Howell said there is no need for a hearing to decide the merits of the application and rejected the hearing to compel the immediate production of the papers.

According to Judge Howell’s ruling, Greenspan did not fully explain why he needed an urgent hearing on his application for the data to be released quickly, especially given the need to safeguard Tinubu’s interests.

She ruled: “Plaintiff has not made any representation to the court that the balance of equities tips in his favour or that the granting of his motion would further the public interest.

“Given that the FOIA request is for records that, if any exist, may be of a highly sensitive and private nature and that the subject of those documents, Bola A. Tinubu, has had no opportunity to protect his privacy interests in any such records, the balance of equities militates strongly in favour of denying this emergency motion.

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“Plaintiff’s emergency motion for a hearing to compel immediate document production is denied. No hearing to determine the merits of this motion is necessary.”

Additionally, the judge granted President Tinubu’s plea to allow his attorney, Christopher Carmichael, to participate in the proceedings.

She hasn’t made a decision yet, though, on the President’s move to take action.

Earlier, Matthew Graves, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, had stated that the government would not be taking a position on whether Tinubu should participate in the lawsuit or not.

“On behalf of the defendants, the undersigned counsel does not take a position as to whether the court should grant Bola Tinubu’s motion to intervene,” Graves said.

 

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