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Tinubu’s Classmate Emerges in US Court as Atiku Seeks to Unravel President’s Academic Records

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The legal battle between President Bola Tinubu and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar over the former’s academic records has taken a dramatic turn as a self-proclaimed classmate of Tinubu has testified in a US court that he knew him at Chicago State University (CSU).

Olajide Adeniji, who claimed to have contested against Tinubu for the leadership of the Accounting Society Club at CSU, swore an affidavit that he recognised Tinubu as the same person who is now the president of Nigeria.

Adeniji’s testimony came two weeks after another public affairs analyst, Durojaiye Ogunsanya, also said he was a coursemate of Tinubu at CSU, where they both graduated from the Department of Accounting and Business Administration in 1979.

Atiku, who lost to Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election, has been challenging the president’s eligibility on the grounds that his academic records are not authentic. He has secured an application for CSU to make Tinubu’s records available to his legal team.

However, Tinubu has opposed the application, saying that only his certificate should be released and not his admission records, transcripts, gender or other details. He argued that Atiku’s request was a fishing expedition and an invasion of his privacy.

A magistrate judge, Jeffrey Gilbert, had ordered CSU to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to Atiku within two days. But Tinubu filed an emergency motion to stay the order and sought a review by a district judge, Nancy Maldonado.

Maldonado agreed to delay the order until she reviews the arguments from both sides. She said she would rule as quickly as possible, noting the legal deadlines in the Nigerian Supreme Court.

Atiku’s lawyers said the information about Tinubu’s academic records may be used in appellate proceedings, as they seek to overturn the election petition court’s affirmation of Tinubu’s victory.

The case has generated much interest and controversy in Nigeria and abroad, as it could have far-reaching implications for the country’s political stability and democratic process.

Some analysts have expressed doubts about the veracity of the testimonies of Tinubu’s alleged classmates, saying they could be part of a political ploy to sway public opinion or influence the court’s decision.

Others have urged the court to expedite the matter and ensure that the truth is revealed, as Nigerians deserve to know the academic qualifications of their president.

Source: Punch

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