1st October, 2023
Judge Nancy Maldonado has upheld the judgment of Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert in ordering Chicago State University to release President Bola Tinubu’s records to Atiku Abubakar.
Judge Maldonado made the ruling on Saturday, according to the docket posted by the District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.
This in effect means that President Tinubu’s appeal to stop the release of the documents had failed.
The Chicago State University will now proceed this week to release relevant non-privileged documents on Monday 2 October.
The deposition by CSU will take place on Tuesday 3 October.
Judge Maldonado in the 33 page ruling stated: “The court overrules President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling and therefore adopts the ruling in full.
“Mr Abubakar’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-1 through 4( as narrowed by Judge Gilbert and adopted here) in Mr. Abubakar’s subpoena by 12.00p.m(noon) CDT on Monday October 2, 2023. The Rule 30(b)( 6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designeee must be completed by 5.00pm 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 documents that will be released:
Atiku’s wish to get an authenticated certificate of Tinubu’s diploma will not be among the documents that CSU will be releasing to him as CSU said diplomas certificates are ceremonial, and they don’t retain copies of students’ certificates, not just for Mr. Tinubu but for all students. So, they can’t authenticate it without having a copy of the original certificate.
The main documents CSU will be producing on Monday are the documents certified by Jamar Orr and was tendered at the Nigerian Tribunal on July 6th, which is already in the public domain.
Among these documents are Tinubu’s admission letter to the school and his transcripts.
Also, Jamar Orr, who certified those documents, will be doing an oral deposition on Tuesday. He will swear on oath confirming he certified those documents that were submitted at the Tribunal.
Implications for case before Supreme Court:
One of Tinubu’s lawyers Oluwole Afolabi said: It has no effect on the Nigerian case. The Electoral Act 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 at the time his Petition is filed.
“A party cannot spring surprise on his adversary by introducing evidence that was not filed along with the Petition”.