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Tinubu’s Certificate: 3 points from Supreme Court hearing that may change Atiku’s fortune



The Supreme Court on Monday, October 23, began the hearing of the appeal filed by the flagbearers of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, against the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).....PROCEED.FULL.READING>>>

Earlier in September, the PEPC dismissed the petition filed by Atiku and Obi over lack of evidence to justify their claims and affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election.

To defend his petition, Atiku travelled to the United States and sought a court injunction to compel the Chicago State University to release Tinubu’s academic record, in which his prayer was granted.

Atiku later concluded that Tinubu forced the Chicago State University to present before the Supreme Court new evidence and urged the apex court to accept his claims in new evidence.

But the Supreme Court on Monday, during the appeal hearing, three points were deduced from the hearing that could not lead to Atiku suffering defeat at the apex court.

Atiku’s forgery allegation against Tinubu must be proven beyond doubt

Justice John Okoro, the chairman of the Supreme Court panel, commented on Atiku’s evidence on Monday, saying that the former vice president must prove the forgery allegation against President Tinubu beyond a reasonable doubt because it is a national issue.

Okoro revealed that two documents from the Chicago State University were contradictory. Adding that one authenticated the President’s certificate from the institution, and the other discredited it.

He said: “This is a criminal matter that has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. There are two conflicting letters from the CSU: one authenticating the president’s certificate and another discrediting it.”

Atiku’s evidence was compiled in his lawyer’s chamber, not the courtroom

The second point that could work against the optimism of Atiku at the court was made by Justice Emmanuel Agim, another member of the Supreme Court panel, who said the deposition the former vice president was presenting as evidence was done at his lawyer’s chamber and not a courtroom.

Though Atiku’s lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN), argued that it was done in the presence of Tinubu’s lawyer in the United States.

However, his argument might not hold water in the court as it appeared that the right thing was to have done the deposition in the courtroom.

Agim said: “I expected the college to write disclaiming the documents in dispute. Does a stenographer have the legal authority to administer oaths? We are dealing with a matter that touches on national interest.”

INEC was not part of the deposition

Tinubu’s lawyer here in Nigeria, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), argued that the deposition was not done in Nigeria and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not part of the deposition.

Olanipekun’s argument suggested that Atiku’s failure to file the deposition at the courtroom and not joining INEC in the deposition can hinder his hope of removing the president.

His argument reads in part:

“The depositions are not admissible in the USA. It is akin to deposition, which we have in Nigeria. The deposition was not done in court, and INEC was not a party to it. The deposition must be adopted by the individual that deposed to it before it can be admitted as evidence before the court.”

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