The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Supreme Court to grant his application seeking to tender fresh evidence against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Abubakar also asked the court to ignore technicalities to allow him to present the evidence in the interest of justice.
The former Vice-President and his party are challenging Tinubu’s victory at the presidential poll and the verdict of the election tribunal upholding the outcome of the February 25 poll.
He had alleged that Tinubu’s academic records were fraught with discrepancies and forgeries.
The PDP candidate is now seeking to introduce these records at the apex court.
Recall that, in a counter affidavit and written address filed through his team of lawyers, led by Wole Olanipekun, Tinubu gave several reasons why his academic records cannot be considered by the Supreme Court.
Responding, Abubakar said the issue before the court has grave consequences and should be considered in its merit.
“The supreme court, as the apex court and indeed the policy court, has intervened time and again to do substantial justice in such matters of great constitutional importance, as it did in the case of AMAECHI vs. INEC (2008) 5 NWLR (Pt. 1080) 227 and OBI vs. INEC (2007) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1046) 565.
“The supreme court applied the principle of ubi jus ibi remedium to ensure substantial justice is done in such novel scenarios.
“The need to rebuff, eschew and reject technicality and the duty of court to ensure substantial justice is very germane in this matter, given the gravity of the constitutional issue involved in deciding whether a candidate for the highest office in the land, the office of president of the country, presented a forged certificate or not.
“Presenting forged documents by any candidate, especially by a candidate for the highest office in the land, is a very grave constitutional issue that must not be encouraged,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the application, Abubakar argued that if the apex court grants the application, there would be no need for “any further argument other than the written address in support of same showing that the second respondent is in violation of the provisions of section 137 (1) (j) of the constitution by presenting a certificate disclaimed by the institution from where he purportedly procured same”.
The PDP candidate told the court that he is not contending whether or not Tinubu attended the Chicago State University but that the President submitted a forged certificate to the electoral body.
“That the case is not whether the 2nd respondent attended Chicago State University but whether he presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” he said.