Yesterday, the Supreme Court postponed making a decision in the appeal brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) against the Court of Appeal’s ruling upholding President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 presidential contest.
After hearing the parties’ arguments, John Inyang Okoro, the panel’s chief justice, reserved judgment in the appeal filed by each party.
This occurred concurrently with the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) rejection of the PDP presidential candidate’s chance of winning in the Supreme Court.
Felix Morka, the National Publicity Secretary for the APC, released a statement saying, “Court cases are won on the strength of cogent, credible, compelling or substantial evidence, not on hollow, implausible, capricious tales and fabrications of the kind that Atiku Abubakar dumped on the court, in the guise of a “body of evidence” evidencing nothing.”
“PDP must also be quite deluded to think that it can get through the court what it deservedly failed to get through the polls,” it continued. It is absurd and offensive to the millions of Nigerians who supported the All Progressives Campaign Committee (APC) and its nominee, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that the election was “manipulated” against its candidate.
Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) announced the appearance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (first respondent); Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) represented President Bola Tinubu (second respondent); and Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) announced legal representation for the APC (third respondent). Chief Chris Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), represented the appellants at the meeting.
“In accordance with the Supreme Court’s authority, we are pleading for an order of leave to present new evidence on appeal, specifically the sworn depositions from Chicago State University,” stated Uche.
He begged the court to dismiss Tinubu, grant the requested petitions, and grant the motion and appeal.
The matter was very important to the public, Justice Okoro emphasized. But did Atiku really think that the evidence he was trying to present was not intended to support a criminal charge?
Observing that there were conflicting records on the CSU certificate, Okoro declared: “This is a criminal offense that needs to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” That being said, I am not sure how we can settle this kind of discrepancy.
The subject at hand is grave. Accepting the document is not hard; the real challenge is what to do with it once we have it. Will someone be asked if they forged these documents in a charge that we will draft? Nevertheless, we have come to carry out our duty of justice, and nothing can be hidden.
The court was asked to reject the appeal and the motion for lack of merit by Mahmoud, Olanipekun, and Olujimi.
The appeal Peter Obi and his party filed against the tribunal’s ruling upholding Tinubu’s election was likewise handled by the court with a reserved verdict.
Following hearing from the parties, the seven-member panel announced that they will be notified of the date of the verdict.
Concurrently, Tinubu’s declaration as the victor of the presidential election was challenged, but the Allied People’s Movement (APM) appeal was denied by the Supreme Court. This came about after the lawyer applied to APM for withdrawal.