CHICAGO (CBS) -- A U.S. federal judge has ordered Chicago State University to turn over documents related to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu's time at the school in the late 1970s.
CSU had found itselfover the legitimacy of a CSU diploma Tinubu provided before the national election earlier this year.
Judge Nancy Maldonado of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago said the decision of a lower federal magistrate judge to release the documents was correct. She set a deadline of Monday, Oct. 2, to turn over the documents. Depositions with CSU officials must be done by Oct. 3.
Tinubu's political rival, Atiku Abubakar, claims that documents showing that Tinubu graduated from Chicago State in 1979 are not authentic, and that is grounds to nullify Tinubu's election victory.
The university says it can confirm the president graduated from CSU. However, it cannot authenticate the diploma because it is a ceremonial document, not part of a student's official academic file.
Abubakar finished second behind Tinubu in February's vote and has challenged the result in Nigeria's courts ever since. This legal skirmish in Chicago is part of that challenge.
CSU ready to comply
At the hearing last month,and is ready to provide the requested documents once the legal issues are resolved.
"We don't have a dog in this fight," said Hayes, adding that the university has amassed significant legal fees and unwarranted bad public relations because of the political fight in a foreign land.
- An example of a CSU diploma issued in 1979.
- Tinubu's diploma issued in 1979
- Any example of a CSU diploma that "contains the same font, seal, signatures and wording" as Tinubu's diploma issued in June 1979.
- CSU documents certified and produced by Jamar Orr, an associate general counsel at CSU at the time.
Abubakar also wants his lawyers to depose CSU officials about the authenticity of Tinumbu's academic documents.
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