HomePoliticsUS Court Orders Release of Tinubu’s Academic Records to Atiku

US Court Orders Release of Tinubu’s Academic Records to Atiku

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has obtained the academic records of President Bola Tinubu from Chicago State University (CSU) in the United States, following a court order. Atiku, who is challenging Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election at the Supreme Court, had requested the documents from CSU to prove that Tinubu did not graduate from the institution as he claimed.

CSU complied with the order of a US District Court in Northern District of Illinois on Monday and released the documents to Atiku, according to a report by Punch. The report said that the documents showed that CSU did not issue any diploma to Tinubu in 1979, as he claimed in his affidavit submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). “CSU does not, in the ordinary course, keep copies of student diplomas, and after the diligent search cannot locate a copy of the original diploma it prepared for Mr. Tinubu in 1979, hence, has no documents responsive to this request,” the report quoted the documents as saying.


The report also said that the US court dismissed Tinubu’s objection to the discovery request and set an expedited schedule for completion of discovery, given the pending deadline before the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Atiku’s legal team had argued that Tinubu’s academic qualification was one of the grounds to nullify his election, as he allegedly lied on oath that he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from CSU in 1979. Tinubu’s legal team, however, had maintained that the documents were irrelevant and immaterial to the case, as the Constitution only required a minimum of secondary school education for presidential candidates.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear Atiku’s appeal on October 5, 2023, after the Court of Appeal had dismissed his petition for lacking merit. Atiku, who was the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had alleged that the election was marred by irregularities, violence, and manipulation of results by INEC in favor of Tinubu, who was the candidate of the All-Progressives Congress (APC). Tinubu, who is the former governor of Lagos State, had denied the allegations and said that he won the election fair and square.


The election was the first in Nigeria’s history to be conducted with biometric verification of voters and electronic transmission of results. Many Nigerians and international observers had praised the conduct of the election as peaceful and credible, despite some isolated incidents of violence and malpractice. The outcome of the election was also seen as a reflection of the will of the Nigerian people, who had expressed their desire for change and development. Atiku, who had previously contested for the presidency three times, had said that he was not giving up on his quest for justice and democracy in Nigeria. He had also urged his supporters to remain calm and peaceful, as he pursued his legal challenge at the apex court.

 

Source:  Punch

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