The 2023 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has raised concerns over the academic records of President Bola Tinubu saying that he hopes it would not cause Nigerians a heart attack.
Atiku conveyed these concerns through his Media Aide, Paul Ibe, who has implied that President Tinubu may be harbouring undisclosed information about his academic history, specifically concerning Chicago State University.
- “It should be now obvious even to the blind that Tinubu is hiding something in his records at the Chicago State University, and even elsewhere.
- “I do hope whatever it may be, it will not be of a scope that will give Nigerians a heart attack. Nigerians will soon see the true position of Atiku on the records of Tinubu at CSU. It is just a matter of time.” Ibe said in a statement.
These remarks came in response to a legal motion initiated by Tinubu, contesting an order from the Northern District of Illinois that mandated Chicago State University to release his academic records within a strict two-day timeframe.
Following Atiku’s challenge to President Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential poll, the court’s ruling came into effect.
Atiku had informed Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of his need for these records, as they were essential for his filing at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Nigeria.
In response to Atiku’s request, the magistrate ordered the university, where Tinubu pursued his education and presented his certificate to INEC, to release these records to Atiku by the specified deadline.
However, university rules typically prohibit the release of such information to a third party when the record’s owner objects, except when mandated by a court order.
Tinubu’s legal team countered this by asserting that a magistrate should only report and recommend matters to the district judge, rather than issuing a final order for immediate compliance.
On Thursday, Tinubu’s attorney, Christopher Carmichael, submitted an emergency motion titled ‘Emergency Motion to Delay Dispositive Ruling Number 23CV5099’ in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.
Carmichael requested an immediate order to delay the enforcement of the magistrate’s order, at least until Monday, September 25, 2023, allowing the court ample time to thoroughly evaluate the magistrate’s authority and the application of the law to the given facts.
Carmichael further contended that Atiku had provided false information regarding the vital importance of these records in the Nigerian case.
He alleged that Judge Jeffrey Gilbert had violated the constitution by acting as a final court in matters of discovery.
He urged the higher court to issue an immediate order postponing the magistrate’s order until the specified date in September.
This would enable a comprehensive assessment of both the magistrate’s authority and the alignment of the order with the law and facts presented.
Tinubu’s legal representative argued that Atiku had led the lower judge to believe that these records could be employed at the Supreme Court.
Consequently, in light of these contentions from Tinubu’s lawyer, the appellate judge issued a stay of the lower court’s order and called upon the President’s counsel to submit any additional particulars, if available, concerning the matter.
In terms of the procedural timeline, Tinubu’s lawyer is expected to file his brief on Monday, while Atiku’s team has until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday to lodge any objections.