The US District Court Rules in Atiku’s Favour
The District Court in the Northern District of Illinois in the United States has passed a judgement in favour of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar who filed a motion for Chicago State University to release President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s records to him.
Atiku Abubakar is the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the Nigerian 2023 general election.
The District Court of Northern District of Illinois has ordered the Chicago State University to release Bola Ahmed Tinubu record’s to Atiku Abubakar by Monday 2nd October 2023
As a fight back on the judgement from the District Court, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s lawyers insisted that the records Atiku Abubakar is requesting from Chicago State University are irrelevant in Atiku’s Abubakar appeal in the Supreme Court.
We will recall that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal favoured President Bola Ahmed Tinubu the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress in the same 2023 Nigerian general election.
Before this recent judgement from the District Court, Atiku Abubakar had earlier secured a judgement in his favour that ordered Chicago State University to make available Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic record to him at a United States Magistrate Court through his lawyers.
Jeffrey Gilbert the magistrate ordered Chicago State University, Tinubu’s alma mater to give all relevant documents as well as non-priviledged documents to Atiku Abubakar within two days of the judgement.
Atiku Abubakar through his lawyer Angela Liu was requesting documents that have to do with Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s record of admission and acceptance into the Chicago State University, attendance records with their dates, degrees, awards and honours that Chicago State University about Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
As a kickback to the judgement from the magistrate court, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s lawyers approached a United States High Court with the argument that the ruling from the magistrate court needs to be reviewed by a District Court Judge. This happened as the two-day deadline the magistrate court gave was approaching.
Fortunately for them, their request was granted to delay the order from the magistrate court till Monday 2nd October 2023
However, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday 27th Sept 2023 filed a fresh response asking the Court to overrule Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s request in its entirety.
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The District Court found that Atiku’s interest in Bola Tinubu’s academic records far outweighs the request from Bola Tinubu’s Lawyers, hence the District Court overruled Tinubu’s objection that was filed by his New York-based lawyer Oluwole Afolabi.
The District Court ordered Chicago State University to make Atiku’s requests for Bola Tinubu’s academic record to him
This means that Judge Jeffrey Gilbert adopted the initial ruling of the magistrate court in full
The said memorandum of opinion and order from Judge Jeffrey reads in part: “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 Atiku’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. 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.
However, Judge Jeffrey Gilbert stressed that his judgement “is expressing no view on the merits of Mr. Abubakar’s underlying claims regarding President Tinubu or his graduation from CSU, or on the validity of the Nigerian election. Nor is the court taking any position on what any of the documents or testimony from CSU may or may not ultimately show.”
“The court simply finds, on the narrow question before it, that Mr Atiku is entitled to the production of documents and testimony that he seeks from CSU,” he said.