Some top US law enforcement agencies have denied agreeing to release some confidential documents about the Nigerian president. Tinubu ball.
They issued the denial in a statement of defense they filed against a lawsuit seeking an order compelling them to disclose the information. They filed the defense in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday.
The agencies are: Executive Office of United States Attorneys, Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
They said in their submission that, contrary to what the plaintiff assumed, they had not agreed to disclose confidential documents about Mr Tinubu at the end of October.
They said none of them agreed to waive any exemption regarding the application.
“No FOIA exemption has been granted by either party. “Regarding actions certain defendants agreed to take in late October, the FBI stated that it will release records related to the two FOIA requests that sought records involving other individuals, not Tinubu,” the statement read in part. of the defense.
An American, Aaron Greenspan, had filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in June under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
In his complaint, Greenspan accused law enforcement agencies of violating the FIOA by failing to release within the legal deadline “documents relating to alleged federal investigations into” President Tinubu and one Mueez Adegboyega Akande, now deceased.
According to Mr. Greenspan, the records requested were from the Northern District of Illinois and/or the Northern District of Indiana “involving charging decisions” against Messrs. Tinubu and Akande.
In 1993, Tinubu gave $460,000 to the U.S. government after authorities linked the funds to profits from narcotics trafficking.
The issue of Mr Tinubu’s confiscation of funds featured prominently in the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, where Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi questioned the president’s eligibility to contest for the presidency of Nigeria.
But the presidential electoral tribunal, by unanimous decision, on September 6, dismissed the claims, affirming Tinubu’s election.
Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Atiku Abubakar’s case against the election of President Tinubu on October 23, Mr. Greenspan seriously filed an application with the United States on October 20. court seeking an order to force the FBI, CIA and others to speed up the process of releasing documents on the Nigerian leader.
On October 23, a seven-member panel of Nigeria’s Supreme Court heard appeals by Atiku and Peter Obi seeking to overturn Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.
The Supreme Court dismissed both appeals in a ruling handed down on October 26.
Atiku, held a global conference on Monday in which he criticized the Supreme Court ruling.
The news conference coincided with the U.S. agencies filing the lawsuit in the District Court of Columbia on Monday.
A judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, had rejected Greenspan’s emergency motion seeking the release of confidential documents about Tinubu earlier than supposedly planned.
“Plaintiff has not even attempted to argue how his application can overcome those exemptions and achieve a likelihood of success on the merits. “The failure to address this important factor in her Emergency Motion weighs heavily in favor of denying her motion,” Ms. Howell said.
‘Plaintiff mischaracterizes our report’
In their defense statement on Monday, the defendants said Greenspan’s assumption that they had agreed to reveal the documents about Tinubu was a result of the mischaracterization of their Joint Status Report.
“Defendants reiterate that they object to plaintiff’s characterization of the Joint Status Report submitted on September 11, 2023,” their statement of defense added.
They said: “The only party that has acknowledged response documents that are not subject to a waiver and will be submitted is the FBI, which will produce records unrelated to Tinubu. He has not given up any exemption.”