President Bola Tinubu has stated why the Supreme Court cannot accept the purported fresh evidence that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) claimed to have obtained from the Chicago State University (CSU) in relation to his academic records.
Tinubu argued among others, that the Supreme Court could no longer, at this stage, assume trial jurisdiction in the case since the 180 days allocated for the hearing of election petition has lapsed.
He added that not only are the said new evidence strange to the proceedings having not been presented by the trial court, Atiku and his party, who were joint petitioners at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), did not challenge the outcome of the last presidential election on ground of forgery before the PEPC.
Also, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele noted that Atiku and the PDP never pleaded, before the PEPC, any document or deposition from the CSU in support of their fourth ground, which spoke about Tinubu’s alleged non-qualification.
Bamidele said if they had done so, Tinubu would have had the opportunity to respond appropriately, including raising the discrepancies in Atiku’s credentials.
These are contained in the counter affidavit and written address filed by Tinubu, through his team of lawyers, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) in response to the application by Atiku and his party seeking the permission of the Supreme Court introduce fresh evidence in their appeal.