Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Ripples of academic records of President Bola Tinubu continued to reverberate as former Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, said that there must be something that President Tinubu is hiding about his academic records.
Speaking through his Special Adviser, Paul Ibe on Media, Atiku said that it is now obvious that President Tinubu is hiding something about his academic records.
On Tuesday, a US Magistrate Court ordered the Chicago State University (CSU) to produce relevant documents to prove that Tinubu attended the institution.
The ruling of the court followed a case instituted by Atiku, who is challenging the victory of Tinubu at the last general election.
CSU was given 48 hours to comply with the order of the magistrate court.
However, Tinubu, in a motion filed by his lawyers, sought to stop the university from releasing the records. The motion was filed before a federal judge.
In a statement yesterday, Atiku said he hopes Nigerians do not have a “heart attack” over what the president is allegedly hiding.
According to Atiku, “It should be now obvious even to the blind that Tinubu is hiding something in his records at the Chicago State University, and even elsewhere,” he said.
“I do hope whatever it may be, it will not be of a scope that will give Nigerians a heart attack. Nigerians will soon see the true position of Atiku on the records of Tinubu at CSU.
“It is just a matter of time.”
He said Tinubu is stalling the release of his academic records so that it is not used against him at the Supreme Court.
In the motion filed before the US federal judge, Tinubu is questioning the Magistrate’s authority to grant the order.
Quoting Tinubu’s motion before the US court which said, “Intervenor raises a substantial question about the Magistrate’s authority to resolve the Section 1782 petition and order immediate compliance by Chicago State University,” the motion by Tinubu reads in part.
“If Chicago State University complies with the Magistrate’s order prior to this Court having an opportunity to review the order, Intervenor will suffer prejudice because the information will have been disclosed and effective relief will be impossible.
“The order requires the documents to be produced today. (Dkt. 40, pg. 31.) By contrast, Tinubu maintained that he has at least until September 27 to submit material, if not longer, and, as the Magistrate commented, the ‘tight time frame’ was created “in no small part” by the applicant. (Dt. 40, pg. 28.)
“That leaves enough time for the Court to review the ruling and, if discovery were permitted to proceed, for the applicant to still obtain the information sought.
“Due to the timing for compliance by Chicago State University — later today Intervenor is filing this motion separately from its challenge to the Magistrate’s ruling on the application. Intervenor intends to file by the end of the day, a substantive brief addressing the errors in the magistrate’s decision.
“Intervenor requests that the Court defer compliance by Chicago State University until Monday, which will provide both an opportunity to review the Magistrate’s ruling, and, if ordered, to allow the discovery to proceed before September 27.
“For example, a production could occur on Tuesday morning, be followed by a deposition in the afternoon, and a court reporter can provide a rough or real-time transcript that evening.”