Atiku applies to file fresh evidence against Tinubu at Supreme Court
In a dramatic turn of events in Nigeria’s political landscape, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, has filed fresh documents before the Supreme Court, levelling accusations of forgery and perjury against the incumbent President, Bola Tinubu.
The crux of this new evidence, submitted by the former vice president, is rooted in the academic records of President Tinubu. These records were obtained from Chicago State University (CSU) and were handed over to Atiku following an order from an Illinois court in the United States of America.
This order mandated the institution release the academic records, which Atiku has been avidly seeking in Nigerian courts to substantiate his claims that Tinubu forged a certificate purportedly obtained from CSU in 1979.
This certificate was submitted to Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in connection with the 2023 presidential election.
An anonymous member of Atiku’s legal team, when interviewed by PUNCH, confirmed that the academic records of President Tinubu had indeed been submitted to the Supreme Court. However, specifics about the content of the filing were not disclosed, underscoring the matter’s sensitivity.
Atiku’s lead counsel at the tribunal, Chris Uche, hinted that the process was in progress, saying, “I am sure they are working on it. I will get back if I have any information on it.”
Paul Ibe, a media consultant to Atiku, also confirmed that the fresh evidence would be filed before the midnight deadline on Friday, aiming to complement the grounds of appeal submitted earlier.
In response to inquiries about the nature of the prayers contained in the fresh evidence, Ibe clarified, “The extra evidence or the new evidence, which has to do with the certificate that Tinubu submitted to INEC, based on the petition, the discovery, and deposition, will help. And that is not the only ground; our initial filing to the Supreme Court was on 35 grounds. The Chicago evidence is just extra evidence in support of the application.”
While members of Atiku’s legal team, Chris Uche and Mike Ozekhome, confirmed the impending filing of new evidence, they declined to reveal its specific contents.
Kalu Kalu, one of the counsels for Atiku, previously asserted during a press conference that President Tinubu had forged the certificate presented to INEC, citing discrepancies in the document’s details. Kalu pointed out that the certificate indicated a female name, suggested attendance at a school that didn’t exist then, and featured a different middle name than the one on Tinubu’s NYSC certificate submitted to INEC.
Responding to these allegations, Tunde Rahman, an aide to President Tinubu, described Atiku’s actions as a politically motivated vendetta driven by an excessive desire for power. Rahman dismissed Atiku’s quest at the Supreme Court as a “wild goose chase,” contending that the former vice president was attempting to rally political and community leaders against Tinubu.
As the legal battle intensifies, it remains to be seen how the Supreme Court will handle this new evidence and whether it will impact the ongoing proceedings. Critics argue that the timing and nature of Atiku’s claims raise questions about their legitimacy, while supporters maintain that these allegations deserve thorough examination. The Nigerian political landscape continues to be entangled in controversy and intrigue as the legal drama unfolds.