Tinubu’s Certificate: Supreme Court Hearing Reveals 3 Factors That May Shape Atiku’s Fortune
In September, the PEPC rejected Atiku and Obi’s claim due to insufficient evidence to back their assertions. The court confirmed President Bola Tinubu’s win in the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku journeyed to the United States to secure a legal injunction. This injunction was meant to prompt the Chicago State University into releasing Tinubu’s academic records, a prayer duly granted by the court.
Asserting his belief that Tinubu had manipulated Chicago State University, Atiku proceeded to present new evidence to the Supreme Court. He further implored the esteemed court to consider his claims based on this fresh evidence.
However, during Monay’s appeal hearing at the Supreme Court, three critical points were drawn from the proceedings. Indications suggest that these observations may impinge negatively on Atiku’s potential victory.
Atiku’s forgery allegation against Tinubu must be proven beyond doubt
to establish the alleged forgery of President Tinubu’s certificate with undeniable evidence, given the national significance of the matter.
Okoro noted a discrepancy in two documents sourced from Chicago State University. While one attests to the validity of the President’s certificate, the other disputes it.
In Okoro’s own words:
“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
at his legal advisor’s office.
Though countered by Atiku’s counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), who stated that the deposition was carried out in the presence of Tinubu’s counsel while they were in the United States, its credibility in the court might be questioned. The more accepted practice is to execute such depositions within a courtroom setting.
Justice Agim stated: “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.”