A United States federal Court has begun moves to hasten the request of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to subpoena Chicago State University (CSU) for President Bola Tinubu’s academic records.
Naija News understands that the court accelerated Atiku’s request after learning that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has only 14 days to appeal the judgment of the election petitions tribunal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria using the requested records.
Recall that the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal had on Wednesday dismissed Atiku’s petition against the declaration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential polls.
Following the deadline, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago has moved up the date for in-person arguments of the lawyers of Abubakar, Tinubu, and CSU from September 15 to September 12, citing “exigent circumstances” of the request.
According to court documents seen by Peoples Gazette, Judge Jeffrey Gilbert said: “Upon further reflection, in light of the exigent circumstances presented by the Application  and to account for the possibility of any appeal of the Court’s ruling.
Gilbert urged lawyers on both sides of the matter to appear in court for the proceeding, with the docket indicating an imminent ruling during the week.
“If out-of-town counsel want to appear by telephone, they should contact the Court’s courtroom deputy. The Court’s preference, however, is for counsel who will be speaking at the hearing to appear in person,” he said.
To pre-empt any further delay, the Court asked CSU to file any objections (if any) it might have against the scope of the requested records not later than 5:00 p.m. on September 11. The school had been previously given a more extended period to file objections to the subpoenas’ broadness.
Hours after the election tribunal had struck out his petition, Atiku asked the U.S. Court to expedite the issuance of the CSU subpoena as he intended to use the records sought to file an appeal with Nigeria’s Supreme Court within 21 days.
But the plaintiff’s U.S. lawyers, led by Angela Liu, appeared not to have been aware of a recent update to the Supreme Court filing deadline for election-related appeals. The court has only 60 days to hear and deliver a verdict in line with the amended electoral regulations.