President Bola Tinubu’s legal team has projected the outcome of the appeal filed at the Supreme Court by Peoples Democratic Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against the tribunal judgment upholding Tinubu’s election.
This is just as Judge Nancy Maldonado of the United States District Court’s ruling ordering Chicago State University to turn over all Tinubu’s documents sends the President’s camp into panic.
Maldonado ordered the University to release the President’s academic credential by Monday, warning the defendant not to request any appeal again, as it will be rejected.
The former Vice President is looking to present Tinubu’s academic records at the Supreme Court to prove that the president’s certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission was fake and that he is unqualified to contest the election in the first place.
The attorneys of Tinubu however scoffed at the ruling, dismissing its ability to turn the legal tide against their client.
Documents to be obtained by Abubakar at the United States court will be inconsequential for his appeal at the Apex Court, one of President Bola Tinubu’s attorneys, Oluwole Afolabi, said.
“The Electoral Act does not allow for the introduction of new evidence on appeal. A party must provide a list of the documents he intends to rely on at the time his Petition is filed.
“A party cannot spring surprise on his adversary by introducing evidence that was not filed along with the petition,” he said.
In the wake of the Court’s verdict, Tinubu’s New York-based lawyer, Afolabi, revealed the reason for his opposition.
First he noted is that “the Nigerian election proceedings and the Nigerian courts have explicitly been unreceptive to the discovery.
His second reason is that Atiku’s request “is unduly intrusive because it allows the applicant (Atiku) to conduct a fishing expedition into the intervenor’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.”
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Tinubu’s personal lawyer, Babatunde Ogala, echoed a similar view, saying, “The headless mob is masturbating over nothing. The documents can no longer be used. It is of no value. We have passed that stage.
“One is whether President Tinubu attended Chicago State University. The answer is yes. Second, what were his grades in school? The school had already provided that.”