President Bola Tinubu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the All Progressives Congress (APC) presented their arguments to the Supreme Court on why the court should not admit as evidence Tinubu’s certificate released to Atiku Abubakar by the Chicago State University (CSU).
They emphasised that Atiku did not meet the required conditions to admit the documents as evidence.
The appeals filed by Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party (LP) seek to nullify Tinubu’s election as President. Both Atiku and Obi claim that Tinubu did not secure the majority of valid votes and are challenging his eligibility to participate in the election.
Obi urged the court to uphold their appeal and set aside the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court, stating that the PEPC panel made a legal error and overlooked crucial evidence.
Atiku presented fresh evidence from the CSU that suggests Tinubu tendered a forged certificate to INEC.
The court debated whether this evidence should be admitted, with the legal system differences between the US and Nigeria coming into focus.
Tinubu’s lawyers argued that the foreign depositions that Atiku sought to admit were not admissible in the US courts and that the time limit for hearing the petition had expired.
INEC and APC concurred, urging the court to reject Atiku’s plea to admit the CSU certificate, as they believed the appeal had no merit.
The Supreme Court panel reserved judgement, noting the significant public importance of the case. They questioned if Atiku’s evidence was geared towards establishing an allegation with elements of a crime.
In a separate case, the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) withdrew its appeal against Tinubu. The panel criticised the APM for filing an appeal they deemed baseless and a waste of time.
The APC expressed confidence that the PDP is in for another defeat at the Supreme Court, emphasising that court cases are won based on credible and compelling evidence, not hollow tales and fabrications.
They believe the PDP’s claims of election manipulation are unfounded and insulting to Nigerian voters.
The Supreme Court’s judgement on these appeals will be communicated to the parties at a later date.