An application to file fresh evidence against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Supreme Court has been made by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate of the in the last elections.
Abubakar is challenging Tinubu’s victory at the February poll and the verdict of the election tribunal upholding the outcome of the vote.
Abubakar had alleged that Tinubu’s academic records are fraught with discrepancies and forgeries.
His request for the US court for the northern district of Illinois to compel Chicago State University (CSU) to release Tinubu’s academic records has since been granted.
Abubakar is now seeking to introduce these records at the apex court after appealing the judgment of the tribunal.
In a motion marked SC/CV/935/2023 and submitted by Chris Uche, counsel to the PDP candidate, Abubakar asked the court to allow him file fresh evidence in line with order 2, rule 12 of its rules.
The former vice-president said the processes and how long it took him to secure the “evidence” was the reason he is filing the motion now.
Read the motion: “Given the strict privacy laws in the jurisdiction of Chicago State University, the request for the release of the academic records and certificate issued to the 2nd Respondent could not be granted without an order of court and for the purpose of use in pending court proceedings.
“On September 19, 2023, the Court issued an order granting the application and thereafter, the 2nd Respondent applied for an emergency stay of the Court Order, claiming that he would suffer irreparable damage and injury if his educational records were released: which order of stay was granted.
“On September 30, 2023, the Court overruled the 2nd Respondent’s objections and ordered Chicago State University to produce the documents on October 2, 2023, and to produce a witness for deposition on October 3, 2023.
“On October 2, 2023, Chicago State University produced the documents pursuant to the Court’s Order.
“On October 3, 2023, also pursuant to the Court’s Order, Chicago State University provided a witness to give deposition testimony, in which deposition, Chicago State University disclaimed ownership and authorship of the document that the 2nd Respondent presented to INEC, purporting to be ‘Chicago State University certificate’ and also disclaimed issuing any replacement certificate to him.
“The deposition was not in existence or available at the time of filing the petition.
“The deposition sought to be adduced is, along with its accompanying documents, such as would have important effect in the resolution of this appeal”.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the motion.
In a related development, human rights groups have asked Abubakar to pursue his inquest into President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Chicago State University (CSU) academic records in the US Court to its logical conclusion.
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) and the United States-based Ekwenche Research Institute jointly urged the former Vice President to ensure that his ongoing “citizen’s inquest” into Tinubu’s academic records in CSU was pursued to its logical conclusion in US Courts so as to establish a case of forgery or otherwise against Tinubu.
Said the organisations: “That is to say that the ongoing matter in US Courts should be pursued to the end and not abandoned half way for political or faith confraternity reasons”.
The call was made in a statement jointly signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Intersociety Board Chairman, Anayo Okoli, Intersociety Board Member, Prof. Justin Akujieze, Ekwenche Research Institute Board Chairman, and Mr. Luke Nwannunu, Ekwenche Research Institute Chairman, Committee on Genocide.
Stated the organisations: “The clarion call of ours has arisen following textual discrepancies, contradictions and mutilations inherent in the officially released academic records from the Chicago State University involving Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu known in Nigeria and to Nigerians”.
They noted that the matter, if pursued to its logical conclusion in US Courts, strictly on the grounds of public interest, patriotism and selflessness, was capable of turning things around for the good of Nigeria, especially in the area of its international bad image or pariah status.
Noted the organisations further: “It is also immaterial if before the end of November 2023, the Nigeria’s Supreme Court “returned” Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu as ‘duly elected president of Nigeria’ or decided otherwise.
“In other words, it is a settled position of the law that once a case of forgery (and perjury) is judicially established against Nigeria’s Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in US Courts, he will be removed by judicial or legislative means as ‘Nigeria’s President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces’. He can also be forced to resign.
“The call for judicial settlement or resolution of the matter is also informed by controversies generated including ‘attentive’ and ‘un-attentive’ public debates, deep ethno-religious divisions and deepening of the country’s international pariah status; thereby exposing its citizens to international ridicule, character bastardization and ruination”.
They pointed out that all of the above issues had also made the Nigerian government under President Tinubu to look as if it was the ‘government of the crooks, for the crooks and by the crooks’.
Stressed they: “To be determined by the US Courts are the correctness or in-correctness of the Tinubu’s CSU academic records including his ‘Lagos King’s College’s graduate credentials of 1970’ which claimed that ‘Tinubu (as presently known in Nigeria and to Nigerians) schooled and graduated from the King’s College in 1970’ as well as other academic transcripts, diploma and degree certificates in his names and their years of obtainment, names of those that endorsed them and their years in office and the age and gender identities of the bearers of such CSU certificates.
“Atiku Abubakar’s ‘Patriotic Citizen’s Inquest’ is importantly a follow-up of those of Late Chief Gani Fawehimni, SAN which established that ‘there are no correct records showing that Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu attended and completed any formal secondary school and obtained its certificate in Nigeria aside a Chicago State University Certificate’ (presently facing a fresh round of judicial enquiries in US Courts).
“Commendably, Atiku Abubakar has patriotically started well but must not abandon the matter for political or religious confraternity.
“Like Late Sage and Legal Icon, Chief Gani Fawehimni, did, Atiku Abubakar must judicially settle the matter once and for all, devoid of religious brotherhood or political cabal or cartel membership”.