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Tinubu’s Chicago Certificate of no use to Atiku — Lawyers



Tinubu's Chicago Certificate of no use to Atiku -- Lawyers

In a recent development surrounding the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu’s legal team has expressed the opinion that academic records from Chicago State University (CSU) may not be admissible in the Supreme Court for the purpose of prosecuting the election outcome.

This comes in response to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordering CSU to release President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic records to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, by Monday, October 2.

In the latest judgment, Judge Nancy Maldonado of the US Court noted that CSU raised no objection to Judge Jeffery Gilbert’s decision to make Tinubu’s academic record public.

Atiku, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is seeking access to these records to bolster his case in the petition challenging the declaration of Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the February 25th election in Nigeria.

Atiku argues that Tinubu did not graduate from Chicago State University as claimed in his academic records.

However, responding to the US court’s judgment ordering the release of President Tinubu’s records, one of the lawyers on the President’s legal team, Oluwole Afolabi, has stated that these documents would not be useful to Atiku before the Supreme Court in Nigeria.

Afolabi pointed out that the Electoral Act does not allow for the introduction of new evidence on appeal, stating,

“A party must provide a list of the documents he intends to rely on at the time his petition is filed. A party cannot spring a surprise on his adversary by introducing evidence that was not filed along with the petition.”

Similarly, the Coordinator of the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), dismissed the value of the documents at this point in time, stating,

“The documents can no longer be used. It is of no value. We have passed that stage.”

Ogala also addressed the key questions regarding President Tinubu’s attendance at Chicago State University and his academic performance, asserting that the school had already provided that information.