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My educational record irrelevant to Atiku’s petition, Tinubu tells US court

President Bola Tinubu has informed the Court for the Northern District of Illinois, United States of America that the application by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, seeking to obtain his academic records is irrelevant to his petition in Nigeria.

Tinubu also disclosed that relevant details of the certificate obtained by an Atiku witness in 2022 contained errors from the clerk of the university which made it different from the one filed at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the election.

Atiku had on July 11 filed a petition seeking to obtain further details of Tinubu’s academic records at the Chicago State University.

Documents sought by Atiku, through his counsel, Angela M. Liu, include record of his admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance including degrees, awards and honours attained by Tinubu at the university, among others.

The court presided over by Judge Jeffrey Gilbert then held that it has the jurisdiction to entertain the action and gave Tinubu till August 23 to file a reply.

In his reply through his lawyers: Victor P. Henderson, Christopher Camichael and Oluwole Afolabi, filed August 23, Tinubu asked the court to deny Atiku’s application as he is not an interested party in another petition in Nigeria “where the material could potentially be relevant.”

The lawyers submitted that the focus of Atiku’s petition at the Presidential Election Petitions Court was that he would have won the February 25 presidential election but for “calculation errors”, non-compliance, and corrupt practices.

Referring to Atiku’s witness at the tribunal (Michael Enahoro-Ebah), who first obtained Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago, which centered around a self-proclaimed Nigerian ‘public interest litigator’ “who utilized a Chicago law firm to unilaterally (without court approval) issue a subpoena to Chicago State University “to test the truth and veracity of Mr. Tinubu‘s assertions that he attended various educational institutions located in the Chicagoland Area.

“Unfortunately, in responding to the illegal and invalid subpoena, CSU made several errors, CSU issued a new diploma for Bola A. Tinubu, but incorrectly wrote the date of graduation as June 27, 1979. (Exhibit 8, CSU Registrar Affidavit, 5.). The correct date was june 22, 1979, but that scrivener’s error — along with a change in the CSU logo, the font on the diploma, and leadership at CSU who signed the diploma.”

Tinubu had earlier asked the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Chicago, USA to quash a subpoena filed by Atiku Abubakar for being an “improper fishing expedition.”

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