The FBI has declared that it will not make any private records or information about President Bola Tinubu available to the general public.
In response to a lawsuit that American activist Aaron Greenspan brought in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, the government agency of the United States made this known on Monday.
According to the FBI and other law enforcement organisations, Greenspan, the plaintiff, is only attempting to rebut the court’s previous ruling on his viewpoint.
The agencies requested that the court reject the plaintiff’s move for reconsideration, stating that they didn’t intend to reveal any documents regarding the Nigerian leader, even if they were in their possession, because he is entitled to his privacy and that they were following the earlier order.
“The Court properly characterized that motion as a motion for a temporary restraining order and determined that the plaintiff did not satisfy his burden of showing that he would succeed on the merits as to FOIA exemptions and irreparable injury is likely, and the balance of equities favor him or granting the motion would further the public interest because Tinubu has privacy interests that should be considered,” the agencies said.
Greenspan is attempting to compel the production of information concerning Tinubu and a person named Mueez Adegboyega Akande from the FBI, CIA, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
On October 23, when his emergency move to reveal the papers and information he is requesting in his substantive lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was denied, the activist filed an application asking the court to review its decision.
Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Greenspan filed a civil lawsuit in June of this year against the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA), Department of State (DOS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The suit was filed under the number 23-1816.
He alleged that the defendants – EOUSA, DOS, FBI, IRS, DEA and the CIA violated the FOIA by “failing to issue determinations within the statutory deadline,” “failing] to conduct reasonable searches for records,” and “failing to produce records responsive to” his FOIA requests.
Greenspan had, in the FOIA request to the EOUSA, sought “records from the Northern District of Illinois and/or Northern District of Indiana involving charging decisions for the following individuals – Bola Ahmed Tinubu (President of Nigeria as of 2/2023” and “Mueez Adegboyega Akande (deceased as of 11/16/2022.”
He told the court, among others, that his request for prompt release of the documents, even before the hearing scheduled for October 31, was because “the Nigerian Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a judicial tribunal’s decision confirming Tinubu as President of Nigeria on Monday, October 23, 2023.”
Greenspan asserted that the papers he sought “would likely be directly relevant to the foreign proceedings in Nigeria” and that the Nigerian Supreme Court purposefully pushed out the hearing of Atiku and Obi’s appeals to October 23 in order to render his lawsuit before the US court void.
Judge Beryl Howell of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on October 23, holding among other things that Greenspan had not met the necessary requirements in his emergency hearing motion, which he had filed on October 20, for the issuance of his request for interim relief.
According to Judge Howell, Greenspan also failed to prove that he had a good chance of winning on the merits, that denial of the preliminary relief he was seeking would cause him irreversible harm, that the odds are in his favour, or that the relief he is seeking is in the public interest.
In the meantime, in order to defend President Tinubu in the lawsuit, the President’s attorneys have filed an application with the court to be admitted as a party.
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