The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has approach the Apex Court with a fresh evidence of forgery from Chicago against the qualifications of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
Atiku, a former Vice President asserted categorically and authoritatively that the Diploma Certificate of the Chicago State University (CSU) used by Tinubu to secure qualifications for participation in the 2023 election is fake having been allegedly forged.
In a motion on notice filed by his legal team headed by Chris Uche (SAN), Atiku asked the Supreme Court to invoke its Order 2 Rule 12 of 1985 to admit the fresh evidence of certificate forgery and perjury in support of his pending appeal before the Court to do substantial justice to his case.
Atiku in the motion marked SC/CV/935/2023 prayed the Apex Court to grant him leave to produce the additional evidence and for the Court to receive the fresh evidence from him.
Respondents in the motion are the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the All Progressive Congress (APC) as 1st to 3rd respectfully.
The motion is predicated on several grounds but mainly on the release of Academic Records of Tinubu, evidence of the Registrar of the Chicago State University before a United States of America Court and the deposition of the same witness in respect of the Diploma Certificate President Tinubu presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC for the purpose of eligibility for the election.
Other grounds in the motion are that “The 2nd Respondent ( Tinubu) was not qualified at the time of the election to contest the election as required by section 137 (1) (j) of the
Corstitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“Based on facts available to the Appellants/Applicants (Atiku) at the time of filing their Petition, the 1st Appellants/Applicant (Atiku Abubakar) through his United States of
American lawyers, Alexander de Gramont and Argela M. Liu of the law firm of Dechert LLP, unsuccessfully applied to Chicago State University for the release of copies of the academic records of the 2nd Respondent.
“Given the strict privacy laws in the jurisdiction of Chicago State University, the request for the release of the academic records and certificate issued to the 2nd Respondent could not be granted without an order, of court and for the purpose of use in pending court proceedings.
The 1st Applicant through his said US-based Attomeys thereupon, brought an action in the U.S. District Court for the Northem District of Illhois in re: Application of Atiku Abubakar for an Order Directing Discovery from Chicago State University Case No. 23-CV-05099 for an order for the production of documents and testimony for use in a proceeding in a
foreign court, seeking documents and testimony from Chicago State University conceming the authenticity and origin of documents purporting to be the educational records of the 2nd Respondent, Bola A.Tinubu.
“The 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) applied and was joined in the matter as an Intervenor,
vehemently opposed the application.
“On September 19, 2023, the Court issued an order granting the application and
thereafter, the 2nd Respondent applied for an emergency stay of the Court Order, claiming that he would suffer irreparable damage and irjury if his educational records were released: which order of stay was granted.
“On September 30, 2023, the Court overruled the 2nd Respondent’s objections and ordered Chicago State University to produce tbe documents on October 2, 2023, and to produce a witness for deposition on October 3, 2023.
“On October 2, 2023. Chlcago State University produced the documents pursuant to the Coun’s Order.
“On October 3, 2023, also pursuant to the Court’s Order, Chicago State University provided a witness to give deposition testimony, in which deposition, Chicago State University disclaimed ownership and authorship of the document that the 2nd Respondent presented to INEC, purporting to be “Chicago State University certificate” and also disclaimed issuing any replacement certificate to him.
“The deposition was not in existence or available at the time of filing the petition.
“The deposition sought to be adduced is, along with its accompanying documents, such as would have important effect in the resolution of this appeal.
“The deposition is relevant to this matter, having confirmed that the certificate presented by the 2nd Respondent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not emanate from Chicago State
University, and that whoever issued the certificate presented by the 2nd Respondent, did not have the authority of the Chicago State Universiity, and that the 2nd Respondent never applied for any replacement certificate
nor was he issued any replacement certificate by the Chicago State University.
“The deposition which is on oath and deposed to in the presence of the 2nd Respondent’s Attomey is credible and believable and ought to be believed.
“The deposition is clear and unambiguous, and no further evidence is needed to be adduced on it. The evidence is such that could not have been obtained without reasonable
diligence for use at the trial, as the deposition required the cornmencement of the suit in the United States of America before receiving same. It is not possible to obtain the said evidence before the trial at the Court below.
“The deposition was made on October 03, 2Q23 after the conclusion of trial at the Court below, and was not available to be tendered at the trial.
“Presentation of a forged Certificate to the lndependent National Electoral
Commission by a candidate in an election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a weighty constitutioral matter,
requiring consideration by the Court as custodians of the Constitution.
“The original certified deposition has been forwarded to the Honourable
Court by a letter addressed to the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court
“It is in the interest of justice for the Honourabie Court to exercise its discretion in favour of the Appellants/Applicants.
The motion was supported by an affidavit deposed to on behalf of Atiku and PDP by one Uyi Giwa-Osagie, a legal practitioner.
The affidavit read in part “That the 1st Appellant/Applicant contested the election to the ofiice of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the platform of the 2nd Appellant/Applicant, which election was conducted by the 1st Respondent
on the 25th day of February 2023.
“That the 1st Respondent retumed the 2nd Respondent as the winner of the said election, and hence the Appellants, being dissatisfied with tle retum, filed a Petition on the 21st day of March 2023 before the Court of Appeal
sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Count.
“That the Court below had by a judgment delivered on 6th September 2023
dismissed the said Petition, whereupon the Appellants/Applicants appealed against the said judgment to this Honourable Court in
“That the Record of Appeal has been transmitted to this Honourable Court
and the appeal duly entered, and the said Record ofAppeal is now before
this Honourable Court, running into over 9,000 pages in 11 Volumes, upon which the Appellants/Applicarts are relying in this application.
“That I know that one of the grounds of the Appellants/Applicants’ Petition before the Court below is that the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) was not qualified at the time of the election to contest the election and did not meet the constitutiolal theshold to contest
Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the motion.
Appeal Court Sacks Nasarawa speaker
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a judgement delivered on Tuesday, the court declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Sa’ad Abdullahi Ibrahim (Turakin-Opanda), as the rightful winner of the election for Umaisha/Ugya State Constituency.
Appeal Court affirms Hyacinth Alia’s victory as Benue Governor
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the election of Hyacinth Alia as declared by INEC after the March 18th, 2023 election as governor of Benue State
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 18 governorship election, Titus Uba, had approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal that upheld Alia’s election.
At the tribunal, Uba accused Alia’s deputy, Samuel Ode, of presenting a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contrary to Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)
He also alleged that Alia’s name was submitted less than 180 days before the election date, and Ode was also not submitted to INEC after the party conducted a further re-run primary election.
A three-member panel of the tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, dismissed the petition on the ground that it was a pre-election matter and was statute-barred.
Ruling on the appeal on Monday, the appeal court’s three-member panel led by Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi held that Uba failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of forgery against Ode
As long as God remains on the throne our mandate will be preserved, says Mutfwang
Plateau Governor, Caled Mutfwang spoken with confidence that as long as God remains on the throne, the people’s mandate will be preserved and protected as he reiterated his commitment to the rule of law, while assuring the people that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Mutfwang who was reacting to the Appeal Court judgement that sacked him on Sunday described the verdict as a temporary setback that will not deter him from repositioning the state.
“We have unwavering faith in the judiciary and the Constitution of Nigeria,” he added.
The Governor said he has instructed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court, admonishing citizens of the state and PDP supporters to remain calm.
Mutfwang gave the indication in a press statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, expressed optimism that the mandate overwhelmingly given to him by the citizens would be restored.
Mutfwang polled 525,299 votes in the March 18 governorship election in the state, while Goshwe polled 481,370 votes.
Goshwe challenged the victory of Mutfwang at the tribunal, claiming that the Governor was not validly nominated and sponsored by his Party, insisting there was non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election.
In a unanimous decision, a three-member panel of the tribunal headed by Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
Displeased with the judgment, the APC candidate appealed the tribunal judgment.
The appellate court ruling on Sunday, led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, held that the PDP did not validly sponsor the Governor during the election.
She held that the Party violated a court order to conduct a valid Congress in that state’s 17 Local Government Areas.
She said there was no evidence that the PDP complied with a subsisting High Court order which had directed it to conduct a valid party congress before sponsoring the governorship and other candidates.
The court held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the tribunal’s findings, which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.
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