Supreme Court Adjourns Atiku, Obi’s Appeals Against Tinubu’s Election

Written by Bola Abraham

The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the appeals filed by the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election.

The apex court also struck out the appeal brought by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against Tinubu’s election, following its withdrawal by the party’s counsel.

A seven-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court, led by Justice I. John Nyang Okoro, adjourned the judgements in the appeals for a date that would be communicated to parties after they adopted their briefs of arguments.

Atiku and Obi separately challenged the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which dismissed their petitions against the conduct and outcome of the 2023 presidential election.

At Monday’s proceedings, Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, informed the court of an interlocutory application seeking the court’s permission to present fresh evidence in the appeal.

The fresh evidence Atiku sought to present is the academic record of Tinubu, handed over to him by Chicago State University (CSU) on October 2, 2023.

The 32-page document was released to the former Vice President on the orders of Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, United States of America.

The US court had ordered CSU to release the said documents to Atiku despite Tinubu’s objection because the court was convinced that it would help Atiku prove his allegation of forgery and lying on oath against Tinubu.

However, one of the justices on the panel, Justice Emmanuel Agim, questioned the validity of the depositions, saying they were done in the chamber of lawyers to Atiku and not in the court as required by law.

Tinubu’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, also objected to the validity of the depositions, saying such depositions have to be adopted by the individual that deposed to them before they can be admitted as evidence before a court.

After hearing the appellants’ motion to admit fresh evidence and the objections by the respondents, the court directed the parties to adopt their briefs of arguments on the main appeal and thereafter adjourned judgement for a date that would be communicated to them.

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