President Bola Tinubu’s legal team has expressed their opinion that the academic records from Chicago State University (CSU) would not be admissible in the Supreme Court to prosecute the outcome of the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.
This opinion comes in response to the order issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which directed CSU to release President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic record to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar by Monday, October 2.
In the latest judgment, Judge Nancy Maldonado of the US Court noted that CSU had not objected to Judge Jeffery Gilbert’s decision to make Tinubu’s academic record public.
Atiku, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is seeking access to these court papers to strengthen his case in the petition challenging the declaration of Tinubu, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the February 25 election in Nigeria. Atiku argues that Tinubu did not graduate from Chicago State University as claimed in his academic records.
Tinubu’s Lawyers Respond to Academic Records Release Order
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, was quoted as saying that the documents would not apply to Atiku before the Supreme Court in Nigeria. He cited the Electoral Act, which does not allow for the introduction of new evidence on appeal.
“A party must provide a list of the documents he intends to rely on when his petition is filed. A party cannot surprise his adversary by introducing evidence not filed along with the petition,” Afolabi said.
Similarly, the Coordinator of the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), stated that the documents are valueless at this point in time.
“The documents can no longer be used. It is of no value. We have passed that stage,” Ogala remarked.
He clarified that there were two critical questions regarding President Tinubu’s attendance at Chicago State University and his grades in school, and he noted that the school had already provided the information related to these queries.
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