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Tinubu begs US court not to release varsity admission records, privileged documents

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President Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar

President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, pleaded with a United States District Judge, Nancy Maldonado, to order Chicago State University to protect his privileged information such as admission records, transcripts and gender and release only his certificate to the legal team of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

The motion was filed by the president’s lawyer, Christopher Carmichael, who stressed that ‘the most critical fact has already been clearly and unequivocally established’ by Tinubu’s alma mater.

The PUNCH earlier reported that Atiku had secured an order from a US magistrate, Jeffrey Gilbert, for CSU to make Tinubu’s academic records available to his legal team.

The documents sought by Atiku, through his counsel, Angela Liu, include the record of Tinubu’s admission and acceptance at CSU, dates of attendance, degrees, awards and honours attained by the former governor of Lagos State at the university, among others.

As the deadline given by Gilbert drew nearer last Thursday, Tinubu’s lawyers approached Maldonado, arguing that the earlier decision by Gilbert needed to be reviewed by a district judge.

The request for a review and delay of the order till Monday was eventually granted by the US district judge.

But on Monday, the president’s legal team pleaded with Maldonado to release only the certificate and preclude Tinubu’s other privileged records.

The motion filed by the lawyer partly read, “The most critical fact has already been clearly and unequivocally established by Chicago State University: Intervenor was awarded the degree as he stated. This point is irrelevant to the applicant because he is not seeking anything more than opposition research on a political opponent.

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“The magistrate judge clearly erred in granting the application for discovery and concluding that Chicago State University must respond to the document and deposition subpoenas. That conclusion should be set aside and the application should be denied because the information sought cannot be used and therefore is not ‘for use’ in the foreign proceedings.

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“Even if a narrow subset of information can be considered ‘for use’ in the foreign proceeding, that is limited to the diploma submitted to INEC. Fishing expeditions into other documents and more document productions must be precluded.”

The development is coming two days after the self-acclaimed classmate of the president, Olajide Adeniji, testified in the US district court that he knows and contested against Tinubu as President of the Accounting Society Club at the Department of Business Admin/Accounting in the same Chicago State University.

In the oath he took on September 23 at the Northern District of Illinois Court in Chicago, Adeniji swore that he was familiar with the same Tinubu who is the current president of Nigeria.

But Atiku’s camp has sworn to resist Tinubu’s recent move, saying it was obvious the President was hiding something from Nigerians.

In an exclusive chat with our correspondent, Phrank Shaibu, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Atiku, said that they have up to 48 hours to respond to the motion in the US court.

He said, “We are aware Tinubu’s counsel filed a motion on Monday praying the US court to order Chicago State University to release only the president’s certificate.

“We are wondering why a man will demand they conceal his gender and other little details in his academic transcript. But we (Atiku’s legal team) will respond to them in the next 48 hours. The judgment will be entered by Wednesday or Thursday.”

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Also, the Director of Research and Strategy of the Atiku/Okowa 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Pedro Obaseki, alleged that the claim by Tinubu that the release of his record to the public would cause him personal pain was because the owner of the disputed certificate is a woman.

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Speaking at a Zoom conference hosted by a London-based psychologist, Gold Emmanuel on Monday, Obaseki said CSU would only confirm what Atiku’s camp already knew by making public the record of Tinubu who graduated from the institution in the late 70s.

He said, “Nigerians will be more demoralised that the owner of the certificate that President Tinubu is parading is a woman. We already know it as a fact, but we are seeking the release of the documents officially by CSU.”

Speaking further in pidgin, Obaseki asked, “Wetin the man dey hide, we already have it. The outcome will give many Nigerians more heart attacks.” (The PUNCH)

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Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase, others blocked over forex crisis (FULL LIST)

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Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase, others blocked over forex crisis (FULL LIST)

The Federal Government has moved against online platforms of Binance and other cryptocurrency firms over alleged manipulation of the forex market.

Binance is a digital assets platform which serves as a window for peer to peer transaction allowing users to advertise interest to sell or buy currencies of their choice.

On February 5, 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks, non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and other financial institutions (OFIs) to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions.

The regulator also warned local financial institutions against dealing in crypto assets or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

CBN cited concerns over money laundering, terrorism financing, cybercrime, and the volatility of cryptocurrencies as reasons for the ban.

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria changed its stance on crypto assets and asked banks to disregard its February 2021 ban on crypto transactions.

This latest restriction on crypto websites is aimed at slowing currency speculation activities in the country, with Binance stating that its platform is not for currency pricing.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, argued that Binance and other crypto platforms should be banned from operating in Nigeria.

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He said the cryptocurrency trading platform is facing restrictions in multiple jurisdictions such as the United States, Singapore, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Reacting, Binance said its firm does not operate as a price discovery platform and FX rates are determined by complex forces that have nothing to do with the company.

The trading company said it provides a market-driven peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that is not meant to be a proxy for currency pricing in Nigeria.

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The platform users have complained about their inability to buy dollars.

The platforms blocked include:

– Binance

– Forextime

– OctaFX

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– Crypto

– FXTM

– Coinbase

– Kraken

– Kucoin

– Bybit

There are also many other platforms used in the cryptocurrency transaction in Nigeria.

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Military warns Nigerians calling for coup over economic hardship

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Military warns Nigerians calling for coup over economic hardship
• Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa
The military has issued a warning to those calling for a coup against President Bola Tinubu’s administration on account of the hardship in Nigeria.

Nigeria is currently facing one of its worst economic crises in history, triggering protests in different parts of the country.

Some people have said if things do not get addressed on time, the military could stage a coup and oust the government of President Bola Tinubu.

Reacting to this, Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, said those insinuating such do not mean well for the country, warning that the law would catch up with them.

Musa said the Armed Forces would continue to do the needful to protect the country’s democracy.

He spoke while responding to questions from newsmen shortly after he commissioned the main entrance of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army and Officers Transit Accommodation, both at the Division Headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

While admitting that the country was experiencing some challenges, he said coup calls were improper because nations achieve more and develop faster under a democracy.

“Whoever is making that call (coup) does not love Nigeria. We want to make it very clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are here to protect democracy. We all want democracy and we do better under democracy. And so we will continue to support democracy. And any of those ones that are calling for anything other than Democracy are evil people and I think they don’t mean well for Nigeria.

“And they should be very careful because the law will come after them. We can see that with democracy a lot of things are happening in Nigeria. Yes, we are going through trying periods, I mean in life nothing is hundred percent.”

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He emphasized that what is needed is for citizens to be patient and give their support to the Tinubu government to succeed and put the enemies of the state calling for a coup to shame.

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“Everybody goes through a trying period in life, and it is what you do with them. You can see the government putting efforts to ensure that we come out better. And it is when you go through difficulties and come out better you will really appreciate what it is to build a nation. And so we are going through our trying period, but I can assure Nigerians that it will get better.

“All we need is for all of us to put our hands together to ensure that we defeat those enemies of the government, those enemies of this country that don’t want us to succeed. We will surely succeed and the Armed Forces are here to support the Government in ensuring that we develop, we succeed and to see that there is peace in Nigeria.”

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Enugu govt withdraws fraudulent approvals obtained by property developers

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Enugu govt withdraws fraudulent approvals obtained by property developers
Executive Chairman ECTDA, Mr Uche Anya at the press briefing in Enugu on Thursday

Enugu State Government, on Thursday, decried what it called worrisome activities of some developers parading fraudulent approvals.

Executive Chairman of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, Mr Uche Anya disclosed this while briefing journalists.

He said such fraudulent approvals have been withdrawn, vowing that the government would never succumb to blackmail.

Anya said, “it is very disheartening that in spite of all we have done, we are still facing challenges in our development control, we have some unscrupulous developers who call themselves investors, sabotaging our master plan, corrupting the system.

“We have instances where people secured approvals using the Certificate of Occupancy, C of O of a different area and passed it on for a property in another location.”

He cited a particular outfit operating in Independence Layout, a night club, which he said has a land title of a property in GRA but passed it on for another property in Independence Layout

“On top of that, they went out of their way and built things not approved.

“We have a similar instance opposite Fire Service, you will see a huge building that we don’t know what to make of it, whether to call it a hotel or complex or whatsoever, in variance to what was approved.

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“Then you go to the bank of Ekulu River, people who have jettisoned even the setback they signed up for and they are parading fake approvals, distorting our place, threatening our bridges, we cannot afford to have another collapsed bridge in Enugu. We must save Trans Ekulu Bridge at all costs.

“So we want to tell the world that we are not afraid of doing the right thing.

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“We have withdrawn all the approvals that were fraudulently obtained and we intend to ensure that Enugu State, as much as we would do everything to encourage investors, will not allow unscrupulous people to violate our laws and end up blackmailing government officials.

“How on earth did someone get approval for a night club in Independence Layout using title documents of GRA?” Anya queried.

“All the people that have approval for one property and end up building up everywhere, we are also withdrawing such approvals.

“We need the world to understand that Enugu is a city of law and order and all our investment drives remain in front burner. All genuine investors have nothing to fear but those who want to corrupt the system have everything to worry about,” he added.

The ECTDA boss assured all genuine investors that Enugu State is open for investments.

He said, “we welcome people that want to make Enugu their preferred home. Enugu is home for all and this is what this administration is committed to.

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“Our 30 billion dollars investment drive for Enugu State is not a joke, and you can see that Governor Peter Mbah’s administration is not joking about it.

“You can see the massive infrastructural investment going on in all the places, you can see that we have paid attention to ease of doing business, the taxation system has been harmonized, this administration has zero tolerance for double taxation.

“You can see that E-government has taken firm root. For instance, we have eliminated corruption from our system of doing business.

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“In line with our ease of doing business, our land department is totally reformed, we can assure you that C of O in Enugu can be obtained within 72 hours if all your documentations are in order

“We also make it easy for every development approval to be processed and issued within 5 working days.”

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