September 22, (THEWILL) – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has filed an application, seeking a review of the court ruling which ordered the release of his academic records to Atiku Abubakar.
THEWILL recalls that Judge Jeffrey Gilbert, a presiding magistrate of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, on Tuesday, September 19, ordered the Chicago State University (CSU), to produce “all relevant and non-privileged documents” relating to President Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku within 48 hours.
The ruling followed a subpoena order brought before the Magistrate by Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the February 25 Presidential election in Nigeria, seeking details of Tinubu’s academic records at the CSU.
However, President Tinubu, in a fresh application filed on Thursday, alleged that the magistrate order, breached the constitution by acting as a final court in such matters of discovery. He contended that a magistrate should only report and recommend to the district judge in such matters.
He, therefore, prayed the court to delay the effect of the magistrate’s order until September 25, 2023.
“Intervenor asks this court to enter an immediate order delaying the effect of the magistrate’s order, at least until Monday, September 25, 2023, so the court may fully consider both the scope of the magistrate’s authority to issue the order without review and the issue of whether the magistrate’s order was a correct application of the law to the facts presented”, the application filed by President Tinubu’s lawyer, Christopher W. Carmichael, stated.
Carmichael raises further questions on the authority of magistrates to rule on Section 1782.
“Intervenor raises a substantial question about the Magistrate’s authority to resolve the Section 1782 petition and order immediate compliance by Chicago State University.
“If Chicago State University complies with the Magistrate’s order prior to this Court having an opportunity to review the order, Intervenor will suffer prejudice because the information will have been disclosed and effective relief will be impossible.
“The order requires the documents to be produced today. (Dkt. 40, pg. 31.)
“By contrast, Tinubu maintained that he has at least until September 27 to submit material, if not longer, and, as the Magistrate commented, the “tight timeframe” was created “in no small part” by applicant. (Dt. 40, pg. 28.)
“That leaves enough time for the Court to review the ruling and, if discovery were permitted to proceed, for the applicant to still obtain the information sought.
“Due to the timing for compliance by Chicago State University — later today ~ Intervenor is filing this motion separately from its challenge to the Magistrate’s ruling on the application. Intervenor intends to file, by the end of the day, a substantive brief addressing the errors in the magistrate’s decision.
“Intervenor requests that the Court defer compliance by Chicago State University until Monday, which will provide both an opportunity to review the Magistrate’s ruling, and, if ordered, to allow the discovery to proceed before September 27.
“For example, a production could accur on Tuesday morning, be followed by a deposition in the afternoon, and a court reporter can provide a rough or real time transcript that evening.
“Counsel for intervenor, Christopher W. Carmichael, communicated with counsel for applicant, Alexandre de Gramont, who opposes the motion.
“Wherefore, intervenor prays that the court grant the emergency motion and delay compliance with the magistrate’s September 19, 2023 order until the end of the day Monday, September 25, 2023”, the application further stated.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the former Vice President, Paul Ibe, confirmed receipt of the motion.