Certificate Saga: Supreme Court Rejects Atiku’s Motion To File Fresh Evidence

Certificate Saga: Supreme Court Rejects Atiku’s Motion To File Fresh Evidence
  • PublishedOctober 26, 2023

The Supreme Court has rejected the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s motion to file President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University document as fresh evidence.

It was gathered that the presiding justice of the panel, John Okoro, said the application of the applicant was refused and rejected.

He held that the time fixed for tendering of evidence has passed and cannot be extended. He added that the 180 days imposed for hearing of election petitions is immutable and cannot be extended.

According to him, the Supreme Court can not invoke section 22 of its act after the 180 days for the trial court to deliver judgment has lapsed.

In reading his judgement, Justice Okoro chose to first determine the merit of the motion by Atiku and the PDP to supply fresh evidence in the form of documents obtained from the Chicago State University on President Bola Tinubu’s academic records.

He highlighted the importance of ascertaining whether the nation’s law allows the court to accept fresh evidence at this stage of the petition.

The Judge thereafter ruled that “The court found as ridiculous the submission of Atiku Counsel that the 180-day rule does not apply to court of appeal sitting on the presidential election petition.

“Even an application to amend their petition to accommodate the fresh evidence could not be granted

“The application for fresh evidence cannot be granted. We do not have jurisdiction and there is no pleading or issue for determination in this appeal on allegation or forgery.

“Fresh evidence is not granted as a matter of course.”

The Supreme Court submitted that the appellant did not make a diligent effort to obtain the evidence, therefore, the application for fresh evidence is refused and accordingly dismissed.

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