Former Nigerian Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has made a significant move in his legal challenge against President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February poll.
Atiku has applied to file fresh evidence against President Tinubu at the Supreme Court.
This development comes after Atiku alleged discrepancies and forgeries in President Tinubu’s academic records, a claim that has been at the center of their electoral dispute.
Notably, Atiku sought the intervention of the US court for the northern district of Illinois to compel Chicago State University (CSU) to release President Tinubu’s academic records, a request that was granted.
With this new evidence secured, Atiku is seeking to introduce President Tinubu’s academic records at the apex court after appealing the judgment of the election tribunal, which upheld President Tinubu’s victory.
In a motion filed with the Supreme Court, Atiku’s counsel, Chris Uche, requested the court’s permission to file fresh evidence in line with order 2 rule 12 of its rules.
He cited the complex and time-consuming process of obtaining this new evidence as the reason for the timing of the motion.
“Given the strict privacy laws in the jurisdiction of Chicago State University, the request for the release of the academic records and certificate issued to the 2nd Respondent could not be granted without an order of court and for the purpose of use in pending court proceedings,” the motion reads.
“On September 19, 2023, the Court issued an order granting the application and thereafter, the 2nd Respondent applied for an emergency stay of the Court Order, claiming that he would suffer irreparable damage and injury if his educational records were released: which order of stay was granted.
“On September 30, 2023, the Court overruled the 2nd Respondent’s objections and ordered Chicago State University to produce the documents on October 2, 2023, and to produce a witness for deposition on October 3, 2023.
“On October 2, 2023, Chicago State University produced the documents pursuant to the Court’s Order.
“On October 3, 2023, also pursuant to the Court’s Order, Chicago State University provided a witness to give deposition testimony, in which deposition, Chicago State University disclaimed ownership and authorship of the document that the 2nd Respondent presented to INEC, purporting to be ‘Chicago State University certificate’ and also disclaimed issuing any replacement certificate to him.
“The deposition was not in existence or available at the time of filing the petition.
“The deposition sought to be adduced is, along with its accompanying documents, such as would have important effect in the resolution of this appeal.”
As of now, no date has been set for the hearing of the motion.