A United States District Judge, Nancy Maldonado, has approved a temporary halt to an order that compelled Chicago State University to provide President Bola Tinubu’s academic records to the legal team of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
This decision was reached during a late Thursday night hearing following an emergency motion filed by the president’s lawyers, seeking to delay the execution of the self-enforcing order until Monday.
Earlier in the week, Magistrate Jeffrey Gilbert had ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to furnish Atiku with all relevant and non-privileged documents within two days.
The documents requested by Atiku, represented by Angela Liu, include admission and acceptance records, attendance dates, degrees, awards, and honors received by Tinubu during his time at the university.
President Tinubu’s legal team argued that Gilbert’s initial decision needed review by a district judge, emphasizing that the magistrate lacked the authority to issue an order for the release of non-privileged information; he could only make a recommendation.
Babatunde Ogala, Coordinator of Tinubu’s Presidential Legal Team, clarified that they were seeking a review, not an appeal, and highlighted the need for the American legal procedure to be understood.
In response to Ogala’s request, the US district judge granted a review and postponed the order’s execution until Monday.
Judge Maldonado expressed her commitment to ruling on the matter promptly, recognizing the legal deadlines in Nigeria and the complexity of the case.
Meanwhile, President Tinubu has left New York after attending the 78th session of high-level UN General Assembly meetings, where he addressed world leaders on the importance of democracy and denounced military coups.
He was accompanied to the event by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and the Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.