The legal team of President Bola Tinubu is of the opinion that the academic records from the Chicago State University would not be admissible in the Supreme Court for the purpose of prosecuting the outcome of the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.
This opinion was made known following the order by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which ordered the Chicago State University (CSU) to release President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic record to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, by Monday, October 2.
In the latest judgement, Judge Nancy Maldonado of the US Court noted that CSU raised no objection to Judge Jeffery Gilbert’s decision that Tinubu’s academic record be made public.
Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is seeking the court papers to further strengthen his case in the petition challenging the declaration of Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25 election in Nigeria.
He argued that Tinubu did not graduate from Chicago State University as claimed in his academic records.
But reacting to the latest judgement of the US court ordering the release of President Tinubu’s records, one of the lawyers on the President’s legal team, Oluwole Afolabi was quoted to have said the documents would not be useful to Atiku before the Supreme Court in Nigeria.
According to him, 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 a surprise on his adversary by introducing evidence that was not filed along with the petition,” Afolabi said in a Whatsapp note published by PM News.
Similarly, the Coordinator of the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), said the documents are valueless at this point in time.
According to him, “The documents can no longer be used. It is of no value. We have passed that stage.”
One is whether President Tinubu attended Chicago State University. The answer is yes. Second, what were his grades in school? The school had already provided that.”