The appeals of the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, and the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, against the re-election of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, will be heard by the Supreme Court today (Monday).
The appellants are challenging the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 poll.
They received notices from the Supreme Court last Thursday informing them of the hearing date.
Mr Abubakar and Mr Obi are seeking to nullify the election on the grounds that Tinubu submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
They have also applied for permission to tender a copy of Tinubu’s academic records from the Chicago State University, CSU, USA, which they claim proves their allegation.
In addition, they are trying to obtain a court order in Washington, D.C. to compel the FBI to release documents relating to Tinubu’s $460,000 forfeiture case.
However, Tinubu has urged the Supreme Court to disregard his CSU academic records, saying that they were not part of the tribunal’s record or judgment.
He argued that the introduction of the CSU discovery was contrary to the judicial proceedings in Nigeria.
He also accused Abubakar of filing a petition first and then looking for evidence later.
President Tinubu further said that Atiku had the habit of first filing a petition and afterwards hunting for evidence, noting that the former VP had exhibited that while appealing the tribunal judgment.
The president in his response to Atiku’s appeal filed by his lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, held that the PDP candidate merely cooked up the claim that his credentials contained discrepancies.
There are concerns whether the apex court would admit fresh evidence or not.
However, a legal practitioner in Rivers State, Mathew Abakpa revealed that accepting Atiku’s fresh evidence at the Supreme Court is “legally possible”.
In a chat with DAILY POST on Sunday, the lawyer simply said, “It is legally possible for the Supreme Court to admit the fresh evidence and I believe it will be admitted but what the Supreme Court does with the fresh evidence thereafter is entirely a different thing.”