Former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is making a concerted effort to oust President Bola Tinubu from office and has submitted an application to the Supreme Court seeking permission to introduce what he calls “fresh evidence.”
In a motion filed by his legal team, led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Atiku alleges that President Tinubu, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), submitted forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in order to qualify for the presidential election held on February 25.
Atiku contends that this action by President Tinubu amounts to both forgery and perjury, and as such, he should be removed from office by the Supreme Court.
The “fresh evidence” Atiku seeks to present includes academic records purportedly obtained from Chicago State University (CSU) on October 2, 2023. These 32 pages of documents were released by CSU following orders from Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, United States of America.
Atiku bases his application on Order 2, Rule 12(1) of the Supreme Court Rules 1985, Section 137(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and the inherent jurisdiction of the apex court as encapsulated in Section 6(6)(a) of the 1999 Constitution.
While the application is dated October 5, Atiku’s legal team completed the filing process on Friday night.
In summary, Atiku is seeking an order to produce and submit fresh evidence in the form of a deposition on oath from Chicago State University. This deposition is expected to disclaim the certificate presented by President Tinubu to INEC. Atiku also requests that the Supreme Court admit this deposition as an exhibit in the ongoing appeal and make any necessary orders accordingly.
Atiku’s application relies on 20 grounds, including the assertion that the deposition and its accompanying documents would significantly impact the resolution of the appeal. The deposition is seen as a credible source of evidence confirming that President Tinubu’s certificate did not originate from Chicago State University and that he never applied for or received a replacement certificate.
Atiku argues that the presentation of a forged certificate to INEC by a presidential candidate is a critical constitutional matter that requires the court’s consideration as guardians of the Constitution.
Atiku’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, noted that the original certified deposition from CSU had already been forwarded to the Supreme Court through a letter addressed to the Chief Registrar of the court.
Additionally, an affidavit attached to the appeal highlights the significance of the deposition as fresh evidence clarifying the status of President Tinubu’s presented certificate.
During the Supreme Court hearing, Atiku’s legal team intends to rely on the Record of Appeal that has already been transmitted.