The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Nancy L. Maldonado has issued a significant ruling in favor of former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar. The court order, issued on Saturday, September 30, 2023, paves the way for Abubakar to obtain crucial documents and testimony from Chicago State University (CSU) as part of an ongoing legal dispute with President Tinubu.
The Honorable Judge Maldonado’s decision stems from President Tinubu’s objections, which were overruled, and the recommended decision of Judge Gilbert, which was adopted by the court in its entirety. As a result, Atiku Abubakar’s application under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 has been granted.
It is worth noting that the court’s decision does not express any opinion on the merits of Abubakar’s claims against President Tinubu or the validity of the Nigerian election. Instead, it specifically pertains to the question of Abubakar’s entitlement to access documents and testimony from Chicago State University.
Under the court’s directive, CSU is obligated to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents in response to Requests for Production Nos. 1 through 4, as narrowed by Judge Gilbert and adopted by the District Court. This production is to be completed by 12:00 p.m. (noon) CDT on Monday, October 2, 2023. Additionally, the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be finalized by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
The court has emphasized that it will not extend or modify these deadlines, citing the impending filing deadline before the Supreme Court of Nigeria on October 5, 2023. In light of this, any request for a stay before this Court by President Tinubu has been deemed impracticable, and it is suggested that such a request be made directly to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals should an appeal be filed.
With this ruling, the court has entered judgment in favor of Atiku Abubakar, marking a significant milestone in this legal dispute.
This announcement is in accordance with Rule 77(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or Rule 49(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and has been generated by CM/ECF, the automated docketing system used for maintaining the civil and criminal dockets of this District. If any additional documents or minute orders are enclosed, they are available for review.