Supreme Court rejects Atiku’s CSU evidence

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, rejected the application by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to be allowed to tender a copy of President Bola Tinubu’s certificate, which he obtained from the Chicago State University, CSU, in the United States of America, USA.

The apex court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro, held that the constitutionally allowed period for such evidence to be admitted had since elapsed.
It stressed that section 285(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, expressly gave the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, a 180-day lifespan to hear and determine in writing, all petitions arising from the presidential election.

According to the apex court, considering that the PEPC, which sat as the court of first instance in the presidential dispute, had since delivered its verdict, no provision of the law would allow the admittance of any other evidence at the appeal stage.
It noted that the 180 dads donated to the tribunal by the Constitution, expired on September 17, adding that the Supreme Court no longer has the requisite jurisdiction to admit the document.

“This court cannot do what the trial court is no longer constitutionally permitted to do,” Justice Okoro held, adding that Atiku and the PDP could no longer invoke the provision of Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act.
More so, the apex court noted that the issue of forgery which Atiku sought to establish through the proposed fresh evidence, was not pleaded in any paragraph of his appeal.

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