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CSU Records: Supreme Court hears Atiku’s motion to bring new evidence against Tinubu

• October 23, 2023
Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi
Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi

Justice Inyang Okoro is leading six other justices of the Supreme Court to hear the motion filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, seeking leave to file fresh evidence against President Bola Tinubu.

Other justices on the seven-man panel are Justice Uwani Abaji, Justice Lawal Garba, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, Justice Adamu Jauro, Justice Tijani Abubakar, and Justice Emma Agim.

Mr Abubakar and the PDP are seeking an order granting them leave to produce and for the court to receive fresh and additional evidence by way of deposition on oath from the Chicago State University.

This is for use in this appeal to wit: the certified discovery deposition made by Caleb Westberg on behalf of Chicago State University on October 3, disclaiming the certificate presented by President Bola Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At Monday’s sitting, counsel to the appellants was Chris Uche, Abubakar Mahmoud, who appeared for INEC, the first respondent. Wole Olanipekun represented Mr Tinubu (second respondent), while Akin Olujimi represented the All Progressives Congress (APC), the third respondent.

Mr Uche told the apex court that his client was seeking leave to file new evidence supporting his case.

“By the motion seeking permission dated October 5 and filed on October 6, we are praying for an order of leave to present fresh evidence on appeal pursuant to the powers of the Supreme Court, particularly the depositions on oath from the Chicago State University,” Mr Uche said.

Mr Uche further told the panel that Tinubu, APC and INEC were opposing the application on technical grounds of the evidence not being pleaded and coming late.

He argued that the motion was akin to a jurisdictional issue, not minding when it was filed, adding that the apex court should side-step technicalities and grant the request.

Mr Abubakar’s counsel held that the motion was a constitutional issue, adding that the issue of 180 days could not tie the hands of the apex court as they could hear the motion.

Responding, INEC’s lawyer said section 285 of the 1999 Constitution should be interpreted to accommodate the Court of Appeal as a Tribunal.

For his part, Olanipekun asked the court to dismiss what he described as an “unusual application” for lacking merit.

Mr Olanipekun argued that the Court of Appeal was a tribunal based on relevant constitutional provisions, adding that the 180 days was like a rock of Gibraltar, and it could not be moved as it was sacrosanct.

For his part, counsel to the APC asked the court to reject the motion seeking leave to bring additional fresh evidence as it was alien in law.

Mr Abubakar is before the court challenging the judgment of the presidential election petition court, which affirmed the election of Mr Tinubu.

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are also challenging the judgment of the PEPC before the apex court.

The three petitions were consolidated, and the appeals would be heard separately. 

(NAN)

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