Legal Battle Over Tinubu’s Academic Records: Court Rules in Favor of Atiku

Court Orders Release of President Tinubu’s Academic Records

President Bola Tinubu’s efforts to prevent Atiku Abubakar from accessing his academic records at Chicago State University (CSU) have faced a setback.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has issued an order requiring CSU to provide Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku, with a deadline of Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

Context of the Dispute

This development arises amid the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, where Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, has sought information on his rival, President Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the election.

President Tinubu’s Previous Objection

Previously, President Tinubu objected to a ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jefferey Gilbert, issued on September 20, 2023.

Judge Gilbert had directed CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records in response to Atiku’s request. Tinubu argued that Atiku’s interest in his educational records amounted to an invasion of his privacy.

Judge Maldonado’s Ruling

However, Judge Nancy Maldonado, presiding over the case, dismissed President Tinubu’s objection. She explained that Atiku’s interest in obtaining the requested records outweighed Tinubu’s privacy concerns.

Judge Maldonado upheld Judge Gilbert’s previous ruling from September 20, highlighting that CSU had not raised any objections to making the academic records public.

Expedited Schedule for Discovery

In her ruling, Judge Maldonado ordered that Chicago State University must complete all necessary filings related to the release of the records by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The court set an expedited schedule for discovery, with the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designee required to be completed by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

This schedule aligns with the pending Supreme Court of Nigeria deadline, represented as October 5, 2023.

Ensuring Compliance

The court emphasized that it would not extend or modify these deadlines, highlighting the urgency of the matter and the need for swift resolution.

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