by Joseph Omoremi
CHICAGO, IL – Fifteen exhibits have been submitted to the U.S District Court of Northern Districts of Illinois in Chicago by erstwhile Vice President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 25th, 2023 Nigeria’s Presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who also subpoenaed the Chicago State University (CSU) for a discovery hearing to authenticate the certificate of President Bola Tinubu who graduated at the school in 1979.
The exhibits includes testimonies, motions, two versions of President Bola Tinubu’s certificates and the disparities between the various evidences Tinubu, PDP, INEC and APC presented at the Nigeria’s Courts of Appeals serving as the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, Nigeria.
Seven additional documents of “all diplomas issued to President Tinubu by CSU, his CSU’s attendance records, as well as “documents sufficient to reflect the format, contents, and certification of CSU diplomas issued by CSU for B.S. degrees from 1979, and any modifications to the format, contents, and certification of CSU diplomas from 1979 to the present.”
The university however countered that Atiku and his lawyers would need a release form from the appropriate authorities before such documents could be released.
Other items needed from CSU by Atiku are Tinubu’s records at the university, all subpoenas on Tinubu and their responses, and all certified request by one Jamar Orr, Esq on Tinubu.
The documents were to be brought to the office of the Chicago attorney to the plaintiff Angelia M. Liu located at 35 W Wacker Drive, Suite 3400 at 9.am on August 30, 2023 for deposition.
President Tinubu however objected to the release of his educational records which he described as “confidential” and protected by both State and U.S. federal laws and opted to be joined in the court proceedings adding my “interests are not fully represented or protected by Chicago State University (CSU), which would be affected if not permitted to join or intervene.”
President Tinubu described his response to the plaintiff’s motion a day after the August 2, 2023 filing as ‘timely” and should be allowed till August 11, 2023 to fully respond to Atiku’s motion adding that granting him the one week grace was proper as other courts have ruled in the past, he said.
Atiku is asking CSU to produce documents on Tinubu on August 23, 2023 and sit for a deposition on August 30, 2023 with a designated officer of the university.
Previous motion to quash the application in state court would be withdrawn, according to Tinubu’s attorney Victor Henderson.
“We continue to be puzzled by Tinubu’s vigorous opposition to our asking CSU about documents that are already in the public domain or have already been submitted in the Nigerian proceedings,” said Angelia Liu, the Chicago attorney representing Atiku in the case.
“If there is an explanation for the discrepancies identified, we would think that Mr. Tinubu would be eager to provide it,” Liu told the defendant attorney stressing “if you are ready to provide an explanation to us, we are happy to consider it,” Liu said.
Liu however said “the vehemence of Mr. Tinubu’s opposition to this discovery is increasing rather than mitigating our suspicious.”