Atiku Urges Supreme Court to Grant Leave to Tender Fresh Evidence

Atiku Urges Supreme Court to Grant Leave to Tender Fresh Evidence

Atiku Alleges Tinubu Submitted Forged Document to INEC

The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Supreme Court to grant him leave to tender fresh evidence to support his case against President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku had filed a notice of plea before the apex court, alleging that President Tinubu submitted a forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the February 25 presidential election.

Tinubu Opposes Atiku’s Plea

President Tinubu, on his part, asked the apex court to dismiss the plea to grant Atiku leave to present the fresh evidence on grounds of jurisdiction and that the issue of qualification is a pre-election matter, among others, and subsequently prayed the court to deny the grant of the application.

Atiku Faults Tinubu’s Objection

However, in his reply on the point of law, Atiku, while faulting Tinubu for his objection, submitted that issues of merit ought not to be determined or pronounced upon at the interlocutory stage.

Atiku stated that they are only at this stage merely applying for leave of the Supreme Court to receive the fresh evidence and submitted that “to refuse to grant the leave, as the respondents have argued, will amount to undue technicality.”

Atiku Cites Supreme Court’s Precedents

Atiku further cited the Supreme Court’s precedents in the cases of AMAECHI vs. INEC (2008) 5 NWLR (Pt. 1080) 227 and OBI vs. INEC (2007) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1046) 565 to support his argument.

He said the Supreme Court applied the principle of ubi jus ibi remedium to ensure substantial justice is done in such novel scenarios.

Atiku Urges Supreme Court to Rebuff Technicality

Atiku equally urged the Supreme Court to rebuff, eschew and reject technicality and the duty of Court to ensure substantial justice is very germane in this matter, given the gravity of the constitutional issue involved in deciding whether a candidate for the highest office in the land, the office of President of the Country, presented a forged certificate or not.

Atiku Quotes Supreme Court’s Decision in ASSAH & ORS V. KARA & ORS

In his argument, Atiku commended the insightful words of the Supreme Court in ASSAH & ORS V. KARA & ORS (2014) LPELR-24212(SC), per Rhodes-Vivour, JSC as follows:

“Law is blind. It has no eyes. It cannot see. That explains why a statue of a woman with her eyes covered can be found in front of some High Courts. On the contrary, justice is not blind. It has many eyes, it sees, and sees very well.

‘The aim of Courts is to do substantial justice between the parties and any technicality that rears its ugly head to defeat the cause of justice will be rebuffed by the Court.”

Atiku Argues That Granting His Application Will Render Further Argument Unnecessary

In a 20 paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the application, Atiku argued that if the apex court grants the application, there would be no need for “any further argument other than the written address in support of same showing that the 2nd Respondent is in violation of the provisions of Section 137 (1) (j) of the Constitution by presenting a certificate disclaimed by the institution from where he purportedly procured same.”

Atiku Argues That Tinubu’s Objection to Admit New Evidence Is Baseless

He further argued that Tinubu objection to admit the new evidence was baseless because he was represented both at the discovery and the depositions as well as at the court hearing by his Chicago Attorneys, and that he never challenged the issue of venue of the discovery and deposition.

Atiku Faults Tinubu’s Submission That He Was Inconsistent in His Names

Atiku also faulted Tinubu’s submission that he was inconsistent in his names, describing the submission as immaterial and pedestrian, as there is no petition challenging his qualification.

Atiku Argues That Presentation of Forged Certificate Disqualifies Candidate for All Time

Besides, the former vice president pointed out that the presentation of a forged certificate disqualifies a candidate for all time, no matter when presented.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of Atiku’s application.

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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