President Bola Tinubu on Thursday filed an emergency application with the District Court to stall the order’s implementation.
Recall that the United States Magistrate Court’s order directing Chicago State University to release Tinubu’s academic records to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku.
The magistrate court had given Chicago University 48 hours ending Thursday evening Chicago time to release Tinubu’s records to Atiku.
However, Tinubu, apparently rattled by the court order, alleged in a fresh application on Thursday that Judge Jeffrey Gilbert breached the constitution by acting as a final court in such matters of discovery.
The jittery President Tinubu in an application available to IdanNews contended that a Magistrate should only report and recommend to the district judge in such matters.
Tinubu further argued that the Magistrate court had issued what seemed to be a final order on September 19, demanding immediate compliance starting on September 21.
“Intervenor, Bola A. Tinubu, requests that the Court delay the Magistrate Judge’s self-effectuating order directing Chicago State University to comply with the Applicant’s subpoenas, starting September 21, 2023, because, as the Ninth and Tenth Circuits have concluded, that a ruling under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 is akin to a dispositive motion, and a Magistrate may only report and recommend to the District Judge.
In the motion filed by his lawyer, Mr Carmichael, Tinubu emphasized that other courts, considering the authority of the Magistrate to rule on Section 1782 applications, opted for issuing reports and recommendations.
“Here, the Magistrate issued what purports to be a final order on September 19th requiring immediate compliance, starting on September 21st. 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.”
In support of this motion, Intervenor states as follows:
“Applicant filed his action under 28 U.S.C.§ 1782 on August 2, 2023, after
dismissing a similar Illinois State Court action that was originally filed July 11, 2023. (Dkt. 1 and Dkt. 22-1, Exh. 1.)
“Applicants are challenging an election that occurred in Nigeria in February.
“The limited time available is therefore due to the Applicant’s decision to seek information utilizing section 1782 six months after the election concluded.
“This Court referred the Applicant’s request to issue discovery to the Magistrate. (Dkts. 6 & 7)
“After hearing from the parties, on September 19, 2023, the Magistrate issued an order requiring Chicago State University to comply with Applicant’s document requests within 2 days i.e., by September 21”), and comply with Applicant’s deposition subpoena 2 days thereafter (i.e, by September 23rd). (Dkt. 40, pg. 31.)
“The order does not report or recommend; rather, it requires compliance with Chicago State University by those deadlines without any action by this Court. (ld.)
Intervenor was unaware, until the issuance of the ruling, that the Magistrate intended to issue a binding ruling requiring compliance without any action by this Court.
“Considering the nature of applications for discovery under 28 U.S.C.§ 1782, the Ninth Circuit concluded a magistrate may only report and recommend to a district judge. In CPC Patent Technologies PTY Ltd. v. Apple, Inc., the Ninth Circuit held
“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. Victor P. Henderson Christopher W. Carmichael.
In another development, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the former Vice President, Mr Paul Ibe, who confirmed he received Tinubu’s motion viewed it as a delay tactic to stall the release of academic records before the Supreme Court begins hearing Atiku’s appeal against the September 6 judgment of the President Election Petition Court.
Ibe said “It should be now obvious even to the blind that Tinubu is hiding something in his records at the Chicago State University, and even elsewhere. I do hope whatever it may be, it will not be of a scope that will give Nigerians a heart attack. Nigerians will soon see the true position of Atiku on the records of Tinubu at CSU. It is just a matter of time,” Atiku’s aide said.