TINUBU: JUDGE ORDERS CHICAGO VARSITY TO FILE RECORDS LATEST TUESDAY (FULL JUDGMENT)
A United States Court has ordered the Chicago State University (CSU) to complete all filings relating to the order to release President Bola Tinubu’s academic records latest by 5 pm on Tuesday.
In a ruling obtained by CITY LAWYER in the contentious legal tussle between Tinubu and Nigeria’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Judge Nancy Maldonado of the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago held that “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 by the District Court in its opinion) 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.”
CITY LAWYER had reported that Judge Maldonado had dismissed Tinubu’s objection, issuing a two-day ultimatum to CSU to release the documents to Atiku.
She also upheld the September 20 ruling of US Magistrate Judge, Jeffery Gilbert, who ordered the CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records as requested by Atiku, stressing that the PDP candidate Atiku had the right to have access to the records.
“For the reasons stated in the Court’s accompanying Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court overrules President Tinubu’s objections (44] and adopts Judge Gilbert’s recommended decision  in full.
“The Court therefore grants Mr. Abubakar’s application under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. ,” Justice Maldonado of the Northern District of Illinois ruled.
The memorandum opinion and order read in part, “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.
“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.”
Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had approached the US District Court in Northern Illinois to compel the university to release Tinubu’s academic records, arguing that it would boost his suit challenging the President’s election in the February 25 presidential poll.
The PDP candidate had requested the documents for use in Nigerian courts to support his argument that Tinubu forged a certificate he claimed to have obtained from CSU in 1979 and submitted to Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the 2023 presidential election.
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