Atiku Urges Supreme Court to Prioritize Substantial Justice in Forged Certificate Case

by Ikem Emmanuel

Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku has called on the Supreme Court of Nigeria to prioritize substantial justice over technicalities. Atiku’s plea comes as he seeks to present fresh and additional evidence to support his claim that President Bola Tinubu submitted a forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the presidential election.

The Background

President Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Atiku, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), promptly filed a petition at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, alleging irregularities in the election. However, the tribunal dismissed the petition, describing it as unmeritorious.

Atiku appealed this decision at the Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the tribunal’s judgment. He also introduced fresh evidence claiming that Tinubu had submitted a forged certificate from Chicago State University. This evidence sparked a legal battle that has captivated the nation.

Atiku’s Argument

Atiku emphasized the significance of the case, stating that it would determine whether the candidate for the highest office in the land presented a forged certificate. He called on the Supreme Court to consider the gravity of the matter and focus on delivering substantial justice. He maintained that issues of merit should not be determined or pronounced upon at the interlocutory stage.

In his response to Tinubu’s objection to the introduction of fresh evidence, Atiku cited previous Supreme Court decisions that prioritized substantial justice over technicalities. He argued that the refusal to grant leave to present fresh evidence would be an undue technicality.


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The Importance of Substantial Justice

Atiku’s argument centers on the importance of ensuring that justice is done in matters of great constitutional significance. He reminded the court that the duty of the judiciary is to ensure that the truth prevails, particularly in a case involving the highest office in the land. Atiku’s contention is that the focus should be on whether the certificate presented by Tinubu to INEC was forged, not whether he attended Chicago State University.


The legal battle between Abubakar Atiku and Bola Tinubu over the alleged forgery of a certificate has raised crucial questions about the pursuit of justice in Nigeria. Atiku’s call for the Supreme Court to prioritize substantial justice is a plea for fairness and transparency in the highest echelons of the country’s government. As the legal battle unfolds, the nation watches with bated breath, eager to see how the judiciary balances technicalities with the pursuit of truth and justice.

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