The United States will not disclose the criminal and immigration records of President Bola Tinubu until 2026, according to court documents seen by the People’s Gazette.
The U.S. State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to disclose the records, citing “unusual circumstances.”
In response to a freedom of information request, U.S. authorities stated that even if they were to release the documents, it would not be possible until January 2026.
Before Judge Beryl Howell of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., a civil lawsuit has been filed in this matter.
Aaron Greenspan, an American activist for public disclosure, filed a request with the FBI, State Department, Department of Treasury, and Drug Enforcement Administration, among other federal and local agencies, requesting the immediate release of Mr. Tinubu’s immigration and criminal records.
Mr. Tinubu maintained in court that he had not committed any offenses during his decades-long stay in the United States. Mr. Tinubu also asserted his identity, despite significant evidence that he may have changed his name and educational history in the past.
Mr. Tinubu has not explained to the public the omissions and contradictions in his true identity and educational records. In 1999, the Nigerian president claimed to have attended the prestigious University of Chicago under oath to the electoral office of INEC.
Since then, the university has denounced Mr. Tinubu. Chicago State University, another American institution, confirmed that Bola Tinubu attended the school but did not specify whether he was the Nigerian president. Documents from the school indicated that a student with the name Bola Tinubu who attended in the 1970s was female.
Mr. Tinubu stated under oath in 1999 that he attended elementary and secondary institutions in Lagos and Ibadan in the 1950s and 1960s, but he removed these claims from his most recent INEC application form prior to the February general elections of this year. He did not explain why he removed the claims, despite the lack of evidence that the Nigerian elementary school he claimed to have attended ever existed.
In 1993, U.S. court documents identified Mr. Tinubu, 71, as a money launderer for narcotics trafficking profits. He lost $460,000 at that time.
The documents were central to an ongoing challenge to Mr. Tinubu’s election as president of Nigeria before an Abuja-based tribunal hearing election petitions.
This prompted Mr. Greenspan, the proprietor of PlainSite, a website containing files from American courts and institutions, to submit multiple requests to U.S. authorities in possession of documents that could provide answers to some of the most pressing questions troubling Nigerians.
It is believed that the State Department has records indicating whether or not the person who applied for a U.S. visa and traveled as Bola Tinubu in the 1970s is the current leader of Nigeria.
The FBI could shed more light on how Mr. Tinubu became involved with drugs in the United States, as well as any other criminal allegations he may have faced that are not documented in public records.
In a letter dated May 15, 2023, the State Department informed Mr. Greenspan, “This office will not be able to respond within the statutorily allotted 20 days due to unusual circumstances.”
On August 4, 2022, the FBI contacted Mr. Greenspan with the following message: “Please be advised that ‘unusual circumstances’ apply to the processing of your request.”
The FBI stated on March 22, 2023, that it would attempt to disclose all Mr. Tinubu-related documents in its possession by January 2026 at the earliest. Other agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service of the Department of the Treasury and the Drug Enforcement Administration, stated they would not disclose the documents for the same reasons.
The FBI also stated that Mr. Greenspan “failed to demonstrate that the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government.
However, the activist swiftly responded by describing how Mr. Tinubu’s drug forfeiture case in Chicago attracted the most visitors to his organization’s website in the past year. The site contains more than 15 million recordings.
All agencies have been ordered to appear in court to explain why the publication of records pertaining to a Nigerian president was deemed unusual and inconsequential.
On July 17, assistant U.S. attorney Jared Littman appeared as the attorney representing all the agencies and immediately requested a postponement until August 28, 2023, to file a response to the lawsuit that was filed on June 12, 2023.