The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on the application filed by Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, seeking to present fresh documents against President Bola Tinubu.
The apex court also reserved judgment on the application filed by Peter Obi of the Labour Party seeking nullification of Tinubu’s victory at the 2023 residential poll.
The Court also took arguments on the application filed by Atiku to present fresh documents from Chicago State University against Tinubu.
After counsels to parties adopted their briefs of argument and made final submissions, the seven-member panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro, reserved judgment on Monday.
The case has been adjourned for judgment to a date that would be communicated to all parties in the appeal.
Chris Uche, Counsel to Atiku Abubakar, moved a motion filed on 6 October 2023, urging the court to grant their application to present fresh evidence on appeal based on the deposition on oath from Chicago State University.
“We are praying for an order of leave to present fresh evidence on appeal based on the deposition on oath from Chicago State University”, he said.
Read also: APM withdraws appeal before Supreme Court
The application, according to Uche, is predicated on 20 grounds and an affidavit of 20 paragraphs. Uche argued that the issue involving Tinubu’s certificate is weighty and constitutional, urging the court to admit the fresh evidence of Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago State University.
In response, Justice Okoro asked Uche whether the Court should rely on the Electoral Act or the Constitution. Uche said the issue is a constitutional matter, urging the Court to accept the fresh evidence.
Abubakar Mahmoud, Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), dismissed Atiku’s application seeking to tender fresh evidence.
Wole Olanipekun, Counsel to Bola Tinubu, argued that the statutory period within which an election petition should be filed and determined is 180 days and clearly stated, making it impossible for Atiku to seek to tender fresh evidence at the Supreme Court.
“It is sacrosanct. It cannot be shifted. Therefore, Atiku cannot seek to tender fresh evidence at the Supreme Court. The courts are bound by the law, and the law is to be interpreted as it is,” Olanipekun said.
Akin Olujinmi, Counsel to the All Progressives Alliance, argued that Atiku’s team cannot “see” fresh documents into the Supreme Court without first tendering the same at the trial court.
During proceedings on Obi’s appeal, Olanipekun, counsel to Tinubu, in a preliminary objection urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit. Livy Uzoukwu, Obi’s lawyer, adopted all court processes and urged the apex court to allow the appeal.
Earlier, the apex Court dismissed the application filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), which sought the nullification of President Bola Tinubu’s election for choosing Vice President Kashim Shettima as running mate.
The APM had alleged that Kashim Shettima was a senatorial candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District when he accepted to be running mate to President Bola Tinubu.
The APM claimed that Tinubu violated the Electoral Act 2022 by nominating Shettima. However, Justice Okoro dismissed the appeal after none of the parties objected to it.
During proceedings, Justice Okoro asked, “What will you gain if you win this appeal? There are other appeals that are asking for something substantial. There is nothing to gain but to give us work to do.” the panel led by John Okoro said.
Chukwuma Machukwu-Ume, counsel to the APM applied to withdraw the appeal.
Justice Okoro dismissed the appeal after non of the parties objected to it.
“This appeal having been withdrawn without objection is hereby dismissed,” Justice Okoro said.