After a long-drawn battle, the
Chicago State University (CSU) has finally released the academic records of President Bola Tinubu to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, following an order by a United States District Court in Northern District of Illinois.
The CSU, which released the documents to Atiku, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the disputed February 25 presidential election in Nigeria, also affirmed that Tinubu graduated in 1979 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.
The institution said that after diligent search, it was able to find some documents Atiku had requested for but could not give specific names because of privacy concerns.
It further said that it could not find the particular documents of Tinubu which Atiku claimed were presented by the president to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but said the university found some diploma certificates with the same font as the one being queried by Atiku.
“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 varsity said in a statement.
The CSU documents which were released late Monday, was in response to Atiku’s four requests which included a request for “a true and correct copy of any diploma issued by CSU in 1979 to Mr Tinubu.”
The release of Tinubu’s academic records by CSU was in compliance with the the district judge’s dismissal of the president’s motion of objection filed last week by his lawyers.
In ruling in favour of Atiku, the judge, Nancy Maldonado, had given the CSU till Tuesday to release the records.
“For the foregoing reasons, the court overrules President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling, and therefore, adopts the ruling in full,” Maldonado had said.
“Mr 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 in response to Requests for Production Nos. 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,” the ruling added.