The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has applied for leave of the Supreme Court to file what he termed as fresh evidence.
In a motion he filed through his team of lawyers, Atiku said the evidence he is seeking to tender before the apex court would establish his allegation that President Bola Tinubu submitted forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in aid of his qualification to participate in the presidential election that held on February 25.
The former Vice President maintained that President Tinubu, by his action, committed a twin offence of forgery and perjury, and therefore deserved to be removed from office by the Supreme Court.
Atiku specifically sought the leave of the court to tender Tinubu’s academic records which he said were handed over to him by the Chicago State University (CSU), on October 2, 2023.
According to the motion, the 32-page document was released by the CSU on the orders of Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, United States of America.
Atiku predicated his motion for leave to file fresh evidence against Tinubu on Order 2, Rule 12(1) of the Supreme Court Rules 1985, Section 137(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as the inherent jurisdiction of the apex court as encapsulated in Section 6(6)(a) of the 1999 Constitution.
Though the application was dated October 5, Atiku’s legal team perfected the filing process on Friday night.
The PDP presidential candidate basically prayed the court for an order granting him leave “to produce and for the court to receive fresh and additional evidence by way of deposition on oath from the Chicago State University for use in this appeal to wit: the certified discovery deposition made by Caleb Westberg on behalf of Chicago State University on October 3, 2023, disclaiming the certificate presented by the 2nd respondent, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
He equally prayed for the apex court to “receive the said deposition in evidence as exhibit in the resolution of this appeal,” and to further make order or orders the apex court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case.
The application was predicated on 20 grounds, among which included a claim that the deposition sought to be adduced along with its accompanying documents, “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 University, 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 Attorney 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 with reasonable diligence for use at the trial, as the deposition required the commencement of the suit in the United States of America before receiving same. It was not possible to obtain the said evidence before the trial at the Court below.
“The deposition was made on October 3, 2023, after the conclusion of trial at the Court below, and was not available to be tendered at the trial,” Atiku averred.
He contends that “the presentation of a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission by a candidate for election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Supreme Court has yet to fix a date for the motion to be heard.