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U.S district court sets new date to advance motion on Tinubu’s decades-long records

A new date has been set by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. to consider a motion regarding the release or withholding of President Bola Tinubu’s records by the FBI and CIA.

Along with Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin, anti-corruption activist Aaron Greenspan filed a FOIA request in 2022 asking the FBI to release Mr. Tinubu’s case files.

The request focused on Tinubu’s involvement in a drugs-trafficking scandal that resulted in his 1993 forfeiture of $460,000 to the US government.

The records were also anticipated to shed light on long-running controversies about his origins, including his name, age, and gender at the time of his admission to the US.

Last September, the FBI granted Mr Greenspan’s request to release Mr Tinubu’s records, numbered 2500 pages, which the agency said would be released in monthly batches of 500 pages and then scheduled for October 2023.

Tinubu, however, fiercely resisted the move as he pleaded with the court that he would be “adversely affected” should the files be in the public domain. 

Greenspan’s efforts to expedite the release of the FBI files before the Nigerian Supreme Court could pass a judgment on the electoral dispute challenging Mr Tinubu’s victory were unsuccessful.

Judge Beryl Howell had in November 2023 allowed Tinubu to intervene and oppose his records from being released, saying he had a right to protect his interest given his claim that he would be “adversely affected.”

But on Thursday June 6, Ms Howell asked the opposing parties (Messrs Greenspan and Tinubu) to submit a joint status report latest September 3 in furtherance of the matter.

“Upon consideration of the parties’ joint status report, directing the parties to submit another joint status report by September 3, 2024, advising the court whether any disputes remain between the parties, and if so, proposing a schedule to govern further proceedings,” Ms Howell said on Thursday.

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