US court fixes new date on motion to release Tinubu’s records with FBI, CIA, others

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The US District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C, has fixed a new date to advance a motion to release or withhold President Bola Tinubu’s records by its security agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In 2022, anti-corruption campaigner Aaron Greenspan teamed up with Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin to submit a FOIA request for the FBI to turn over the current president’s case files under their control, particularly his role in a narcotics-trafficking ordeal that had him forfeit $460,000 to the U.S. government in 1993.

The files were also expected to clarify decades-long controversies regarding Mr Tinubu’s background, including the name, age and gender under which he entered the United States.

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.

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

Mr 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 Mr 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.”

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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.