Nigeria recently held 2023 presidential election is still in contest both in and outside the country. The election, which was riddled with discrepancies and violence in several regions, made Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the winner and he was promptly sworn in on May 29, 2023. However, the other two leading presidential candidates are not satisfied with the outcome of the declaration. Consequently, both of them filed lawsuits at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).
Months after Tinubu had been sworn in as president, the petition court threw out the cases of each of the petitioners, including those from the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso. The judges had determined that the issue of Kashim Shettima’s double nomination was a pre-election matter and out of jurisdiction. Likewise, the court also threw out the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Atiku Abubakar, which sought to overturn the election and declare Atiku the winner.
Obi’s petition gained the most traction in the media.
Furthermore, Peter Gregory Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) had filed a series of petitions at the petition court seeking Tinubu’s disqualification on a number of reasons. The first was that Bola Ahmed Tinubu had forfeited $460,000 in the state of Chicago in the United States because it was proceeds from drug trafficking activities. Tinubu’s lawyers had argued in court that while there was a forfeiture, it was not a criminal one but civil.
Also, Obi and LP petition cited claims that Tinubu had submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In fact, an independent investigative journalist had claimed that the forged certificate had come from www.diploma-makers.com. Of course, Tinubu’s studentship at the Chicago State University was also in question. However, there was so much emphasis on a presidential candidate making at least 25 percent of votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The tribunal dismissed the petitions citing various technicalities.
Atiku has taken the fight to United States soil.
After the announcement of the judgements, the leading candidates announced that they were heading to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the lower court. However, Atiku Abubakar has gone further to file a lawsuit against the Chicago State University (CSU) to release the academic records of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Thus, a United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has granted the request filed by Atiku seeking the release of Tinubu’s academic records by the Chicago State University.
Judge Jeffrey Gilbert, a US magistrate, gave the ruling ordering CSU to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents to Abubakar Atiku, the plaintiff, within two days. Tinubu’s lawyers have argued that their client is not willing to lift his privacy privilege, with the ruling also conceding this by using the term “non-privileged documents.” In response, Tinubu has pleaded before a judge to save him from suffering severe and irreparable damage by placing an emergency hold on a recent order for his university records to be released.
FBI to release 2500-page record on Tinubu in batches of 500 pages.
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced plans to start releasing 2,500 documents on Bola Tinubu from October 2023. The record is expected to clear questions about when he first entered the United States, under which name he entered, and his encounters with law enforcement ever since. “FBI has identified a total of approximately 2500 pages potentially responsive to FOIA requests 1553430-00 and 1587544-000,” the US body said in a status report. An initial release is anticipated by the end of October.