President Bola Tinubu has applied to intervene and subsequently oppose a motion that would have all his records—criminal or otherwise—released by top U.S. security agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Specifically, Mr Tinubu pleads that he would be “adversely affected” should the U.S. Court for the Northern District of Columbia in Washington D.C. deny his motion to intervene in the matter, according to Bryan A. Carey, the attorney representing the Nigerian leader.
“Mr Tinubu should be allowed to intervene because he has a direct interest in the records sought, his interests are not fully represented or protected by defendants, and his interests will be adversely affected if he is not permitted to intervene,” Mr Carey pleaded with the court on Monday in a document obtained by Peoples Gazette.
Aaron Greenspan, owner of PlainSite, a website that advocates legal data transparency to end corruption in public service, had in 2022 filed a freedom of information request for Mr Tinubu’s records. Mr Greenspan, a U.S. citizen, collaborated with Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin in applying for the request.
The FBI, last month, said it would comply with the request and release the sought records about 2500 pages in batches of 500 pages monthly starting October. Nigerians had eagerly anticipated the release of the records hoping they would clarify decades-long controversies about Mr Tinubu’s background and his role in a narcotics dealing that led to his forfeiture of $460,000 in 1993.
However, the Nigerian leader is now ferociously fighting to keep those data hidden from the public, much as he did when he sought to prevent his primary opponent, Atiku Abubakar, from accessing his Chicago State University (CSU) records.
It is unclear if the same failure that trailed his desperate opposition to have his Chicago State University (CSU) records from being accessed by Mr Abubakar, his main rival in the February elections, awaits him in the quest to block U.S. agencies from complying with federal disclosure regulations.
Still, Mr Tinubu’s five-month-old presidency has been beset by legal tussles ranging from allegations of electoral fraud, perjury for lying on an electoral form regarding his Guinean citizenship status, narcotics dealing and presenting forged certificate to the electoral commission, INEC.