INEC, Tinubu Disagree As Atiku Urges S’Court To Admit Fresh Evidence

The Supreme Court has said there are conflicting letters from the Chicago State University (CSU) on President Bola Tinubu’s certificate.

Justice John Okoro, Chairman of the 7-member panel hearing the application of Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), filed against the victory of President Bola Tinubu, said this on Monday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of February election but his opponents went to court.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had struck out the appeals of Atiku and Peter Obi of Labour Party, but they headed for the apex court, with Atiku asking to filed extra evidence against Tinubu on alleged forgery.

Atiku had sought Tinubu’s academic record from Chicago State University so as to prove his allegation that the president submitted forged documents to INEC.

However, by the times the documents were released the 180 days statutory period within which an election petition should be filed and determined had elapsed.

But Atiku asked the court to grant his appeal to tender fresh evidence, given the nature of the issue. Tinubu kicked against this, saying granting such would amount to abuse of court process.

Atiku predicated his plea on the grounds that presenting forged documents by any candidate, especially by one for the highest office in the land, is a grave constitutional issue that must not be encouraged.

But Tinubu kicked, arguing that the issue is a pre-election matter amongst others and subsequently prayed the court to deny the grant of the application.

While faulting Tinubu, Atiku submitted that issues of merit ought not to be determined or pronounced upon at the interlocutory stage.

Atiku also pointed out that the presentation of a forged certificate disqualifies a candidate for all time, no matter when presented.

Speaking at the hearing on Monday, Justice Okoro said criminal matters have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“But in this case, there are two conflicting letters from the CSU – one authenticating the president’s certificate and another discrediting it. Which do we rely on?,” he asked.

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