The judge of United States District Court for the Northern District has reserved judgment in the case brought before it by Nigerian politician, Atiku Abubakar.
Jeffrey Gilbert presiding over a subpoena application for Nigerian’s president, Bola Tinubu’s records reserved judgement after learning that the politician’s college transcript, which he used to gain admission into Chicago State University (CSU) in 1977, indicated it belonged to a female.
The judge, according to the People Gazette had earlier scheduled September 12, to rule on the matter, but said he needed additional time to digest his decision after learning that there was a transcript bearing Bola A. Tinubu released by CSU under a separate court subpoena that carried the owner’s gender as female.
Trying to demonstrate the frivolity of the case, Tinubu’s lawyer, Christopher Carmichael, raised the female issue, dismissing it as a fishing expedition based entirely on a conspiracy theory being peddled in Nigeria by Tinubu’s political detractors.
‘It is like Donald Trump coming up in 2010 to claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States,” Carmichael said.
But lawyer to plaintiff Atiku Abubakar, Alexandre de Gramont quickly informed the court that the possibility of Bola Tinubu, who attended CSU in the same 1970s, being a woman was first revealed in records produced by the school itself.
The school had, in mid-2022, submitted Tinubu’s records in its possession while complying with a state court subpoena.
The records, handed over to Nigerian civil rights lawyer Mike Enahoro-Ebah, showed that Bola A. Tinubu was admitted into CSU in 1977 based on a transcript from Southwest College Chicago that was marked as belonging to a female.
Judge Gilbert became confused after CSU lawyer Michael Hayes confirmed that the school had indeed turned in records to Enahoro-Ebah in 2022, but insisted that the Nigerian president, Tinubu was the one who attended and graduated from the school.
Hayes, however, said he could not explain the contradictions, and the school’s administrators would not be able to state under oath that the certificate Tinubu has been parading was genuine or otherwise.
“Is the diploma authentic or is it a forgery? My client can’t answer yes to either of those questions,” Hayes said of Tinubu’s certificate that he submitted to be Nigeria’s president.
Consequently, a confused Judge Gilbert said he would need additional time to process the confusion, especially given Hayes’ confirmation of the records released last year by CSU.
“I will have to take this matter under advisement,” the judge said, adding that his court would communicate a new judgement or hearing date with counsel to all parties.
The judge said additional documents or clarification about already submitted documents may be required from the parties.