On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the certificate for President Bola Tinubu has inconsistent letters from Chicago State University (CSU).
According to Anaedoonline.ng, Justice John Okoro, the chairman of the seven-member panel of the supreme court, made this statement during the hearing of the appeal Atiku Abubakar, the candidate for president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), filed against the election victory of President Bola Tinubu.
One of the letters, according to Justice Okoro, authenticates the President’s certificate, while the other casts doubt on it.
Therefore, the panel’s chief justice stated that evidence in criminal cases must be established beyond a reasonable doubt.
“But in this case, there are two conflicting letters from the CSU – one authenticating the president’s certificate and another discrediting it. Which do we rely on?” he asked.
Remember that President Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was proclaimed the winner of the February election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but his rivals sued.
Atiku and Peter Obi of the Labour Party had their appeals dismissed by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, but they continued on to the Supreme Court with Atiku requesting to provide additional evidence against Tinubu for suspected forgery.
In order to substantiate his claim that the president submitted fraudulent documents to INEC, Atiku requested Tinubu’s academic record from Chicago State University.
The 180-day statutory deadline for filing and determining an election petition had passed by the time the materials were made public.
Given the seriousness of the matter, Atiku urged the court to approve his appeal to provide new evidence. Tinubu objected, claiming that if granted, it would be an abuse of the legal system.
Atiku based his argument on the fact that providing fake documents by any candidate is a serious constitutional violation that should not be promoted, especially by a contender for the highest office in the land.
However, Tinubu rejected the request, claiming that it was a pre-election matter among others, and he subsequently asked the court to reject the application’s approval.
Atiku criticised Tinubu and argued that merit-related matters shouldn’t be decided or ruled on during the interlocutory stage.
The former vice president also made the point that presenting a fake document disqualifies a candidate indefinitely, regardless of when it is presented.
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