U.S. court grants Tinubu’s request opposing release of FBI, CIA, others’ confidential records

The U.S. Court for the District of Columbia in Washington D.C. has granted President Bola Tinubu’s Motion to intervene and oppose the release of his records held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other top U.S. security agencies, based on court filings.

Judge Beryl A. Howell, on November 27, granted Tinubu’s Motion to intervene after deeming him to have met the four qualifying factors, which include timeliness of the Motion, and the applicant’s interest in the property which forms subject of action.

Adjudging Tinubu to have met the four criteria, Ms.  Howell permitted the Nigerian leader to step in and protect his records from being released by the U.S. security agencies in response to a freedom of information (FOI) request filed by Aaron Greenspan, owner of Plainsite, a website that promotes transparency and anti-corruption in public service. Greenspan worked with Nigerian journalist, David Hundeyin, on the FOIA request.

“Tinubu’s intervention will thus have no disruptive effect, as he has intervened in time to follow any briefing schedule that will later be imposed”, Ms. Howell had ruled on Monday.

Greenspan’s attempts to urgently obtain Tinubu’s records, before the presidential electoral dispute was resolved by Nigeria’s Supreme Court, were thwarted by Ms. Howell last month after she ruled that the anti-corruption activist did not sufficiently justify his request for an urgent hearing to seek the expeditious release of the sought records against the need to protect Tinubu’s interest.

Nevertheless, Ms. Howell, on Monday, gave an order instructing Tinubu to meet all deadlines as the matter proceeds. “It is further ORDERED that Bola A. Tinubu will follow all deadlines set for the federal defendants in any scheduling orders, and endeavour in good faith to avoid duplicative briefing of arguments covered in the federal defendants’ briefs”.

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