The news waves have been buzzing about the attempts brought in a United States District Court by Atiku Abubakar, to force the public disclosure of the certificate and school records of President Bola Tinubu, from the Chicago State University (CSU).
Atiku Abubakar, who is the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had gone to court to force the release of the school records of Bola Tinubu, because he believed there were discrepancies between the claimed and actual school records of Bola Tinubu.
Judge Jeffrey Gilbert had earlier given an order on September 19 for CSU to release the records relating to Tinubu to Atiku Abubakar, who is currently challenging the election of Tinubu as President of Nigeria.
The judge had also ordered CSU administrators to appear and certify the records to be released.
The order of the court seemed straight forward since Tinubu was a public official in Nigeria and releasing his school records would seem to be in the public interest.
Surprisingly, before CSU would produce the records, lawyers for President Bola Tinubu launched an emergency appeal with another judge to stop the release of the records because they claimed the release would inflict “irreparable damage” on President Bola Tinubu. They argued that the court led by Judge Nancy Maldonado should delay the release of the records till at least September 25.
Maldonado agreed with the Tinubu lawyers and has now set Monday September 25th as the new hearing date for the appeal.
The swift nature of the appeal has now aroused the curiosity of the public. Actually, it might just be legal pugilism but it has now scrutiny, and leading to speculations about if President Bola Tinubu really has something to hide.
CSU had earlier come out to certify that Bola Tinubu attended the University, so what is the big issue about releasing his school records?
The second question bothering public watchers is, what if the released records are materially different from the public records submitted and claimed by President Bola Tinubu? Would that have any effect on the ongoing political litigations challenging his election at the Supreme Court of Nigeria?
The Supreme Court of Nigeria, does not normally allow the introduction of fresh evidence in any matter before it. It is more of a policy making court. However, in exceptional circumstances, it can allow the introduction of new evidence in treating matters before it.
A substantial difference in the released records from CSU would fall into that category of exceptional circumstances. If that happens, then the case against the eligibility of President Bola Tinubu to contest the office of the President of Nigeria, would be severely strengthened.
That is the more plausible reason for the desperate attempts to prevent the public disclosure of the school records of President Bola Tinubu.