Nigeria’s Supreme Court gets set to hear appeals seeking to remove President Bola Tinubu from office Monday.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the February 2023 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that nothing ought to stop the court from accepting his fresh evidence from Chicago.
Atiku stated this in a reply on the point of law he filed to counter objections that Tinubu, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, raised to query the admissibility of documents that were released to him by the Chicago State University, CSU, in the United States of America.
The former Vice President, who is challenging the outcome of the presidential election that was held on February 25, maintained that the documents he is seeking the permission of the apex court to tender would establish his allegation that Tinubu was not only not qualified
to contest the election but was equally involved in certificate forgery.
The documents Atiku is seeking to tender before the apex court are Tinubu’s academic records that the CSU handed over to him on October 2, 2023.
The 32-page documents were released on the orders of Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, United States of America.
The US court had ordered the CSU to release the said documents to Atiku, despite Tinubu’s objection.
However, following Atiku’s request to tender the documents, Tinubu, INEC and the APC raised separate objections where they argued that the Supreme Court could not admit the evidence at this stage of the case.
They argued that the 180 days allowed by the law for hearing of petitions against the outcome of the presidential election, had since elapsed.
According to them, the apex court, at this stage, lacks the requisite jurisdiction to receive and decide on the fresh evidence since it was not presented within the prescribed 180 days.
In his response to the objections, Atiku, through his team of lawyers led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, argued that, contrary to the position of the respondents, “there is no such constitutional limit of 180 days on the lower court to hear and determine a presidential election petition, such that can rob the Court to exercise its power in any manner whatsoever.
Atiku argued that the case is not whether Tinubu attended Chicago State University, but whether he presented a forged certificate to the INEC.