The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ordered Chicago State University (CSU) to release the academic records of President Bola Tinubu.
In a 33-page memorandum opinion and order document sighted by Newsbreak Nigeria, the Judge, Nancy Maldonado directed CSU to to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents in response to the application filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The document reads in part” Mr. Abubakar contends the fraudulent submission would have disqualified President Tinubu from
participating in the election, and he therefore seeks records and testimony from CSU related to President Tinubu’s diploma, and his graduation from CSU, to support Mr. Abubakar’s challenge to the election results.
“Mr. Abubakar does not just question the authenticity of one diploma, but also questions whether President Tinubu actually attended and received any undergraduate degree from CSU at all, notwithstanding the fact that CSU has stated that President Tinubu did attend and receive a degree on June 22, 1979. (Id.).
“In other words, while Mr. Abubakar’s challenge to the election results is tied to the submission of an allegedly fraudulent diploma, he has raised other broader claims in the same proceedings before the Court of Appeal about President Tinubu’s identity and graduation, as well as the authenticity and origin of other CSU documents that were obtained and produced as part of other Nigerian proceedings.
“For the foregoing reasons, the Court overrules President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling, and therefore adopts the ruling in full. Mr. Abubakar’s Application is therefore granted.
“In light of the pending Supreme Court of Nigeria deadline represented to the Court as October 5, 2023, and based on CSU’s representations that it is ready to comply with the discovery requests and produce a witness, the Court sets an expedited schedule for completion of discovery.
“Respondent CSU is directed to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents in response to Requests for Production Nos. 1 through 4 (as narrowed by Judge Gilbert and adopted here) in Mr. Abubakar’s subpoena, by 12:00 p.m. (noon) CDT, on Monday, October 2, 2023.
“The Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be completed by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. Given the October 5, 2023, filing deadline before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Court will not extend or modify these deadlines.”