The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed its intention to release approximately 2,500 documents related to President Bola Tinubu, shedding light on his past activities in the United States.
This disclosure follows initial reluctance by the FBI to comply with a freedom of information request filed in 2022.
According to a recent court filing obtained by The Gazette, the FBI plans to release these documents at a rate of 500 pages per month, starting at the end of October 2023. The documents are expected to address longstanding questions about President Tinubu’s entry into the U.S., including the name under which he entered and his activities during his decades-long stay, which appears to have begun in the 1970s.
One of the anticipated revelations is President Tinubu’s forfeiture of $460,000 over alleged involvement in drug dealing in Chicago during the 1990s. Additionally, this disclosure is expected to provide clarity on President Tinubu’s background, including questions about his parentage and childhood education that have remained unanswered.
This move towards transparency was initiated by Aaron Greenspan, the founder of PlainSite, a platform dedicated to promoting anti-corruption and transparency in public service, in collaboration with journalist David Hundeyin. The Gazette has closely monitored the progress of this application and offered support to ensure its success after initial delays by the FBI.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that alongside the FBI, other U.S. agencies such as the State Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Drug Enforcement Administration have also indicated their readiness to release thousands of pages of records related to Bola Tinubu. Even the Central Intelligence Agency is compiling records for release in compliance with the law.
The State Department, for example, plans to release 450 pages every six weeks from its archive on Mr. Tinubu, starting from October. These combined efforts aim to provide a comprehensive account of President Tinubu’s activities and history in the United States.
This development comes at a critical time as President Tinubu’s claims regarding his admission to Chicago State University (CSU) face additional scrutiny due to a lawsuit filed by Atiku Abubakar, his main challenger in the 2023 presidential election. The lawsuit raises questions about the accuracy of President Tinubu’s academic records and the circumstances surrounding his admission to CSU.
In 2022, CSU provided records that indicated a female Bola Tinubu had attended the institution and studied the same course as the Nigerian leader. However, discrepancies in graduation dates and concerns about fabricated certificates have added complexity to the matter.
As the legal proceedings unfold, Judge Jeffrey Gilbert of the United States District Court in Chicago is scheduled to hear arguments from the lawyers of President Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and CSU on September 12. This hearing aims to clarify the scope of the subpoena for Mr. Tinubu’s academic records and could have implications for the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The forthcoming release of FBI documents and the legal challenges related to President Bola Tinubu’s U.S. records promise to provide unprecedented insight into his past, potentially reshaping the political landscape in Nigeria.