The Supreme Court has postponed making a decision on the appeals brought forth by presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
Both candidates are challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25.
Atiku and Obi criticized the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which dismissed their petitions against the conduct and outcome of the election.
The seven-member panel of justices, led by Justice I. John Nyang Okoro, have reserved their judgements and will communicate a date to the parties involved after reviewing the documents submitted.
During Monday’s proceedings, Chief Chris Uche, who represented Atiku and the PDP, informed the court about their request for permission to present new evidence in the appeal. Atiku was seeking to submit Tinubu’s academic record, which was provided to him by Chicago State University on October 2, 2023.
The 32-page document was released to Atiku as per the order of Judge Nancy Maldonado from the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, in the United States.
Despite Tinubu’s objection, the US court ordered the release of the documents to Atiku, as they believed it would support his claims of forgery and perjury against Tinubu.
However, Justice Emmanuel Agim, one of the justices on the panel, pointed out to Atiku’s lead counsel that the deposition he wished to present as evidence was conducted in the lawyers’ chambers for Atiku, rather than in the court as required by law.
Justice Agim sought further clarification, stating, “I expected the college to disclaim the disputed documents. Does a stenographer have the legal authority to administer an oath? We are dealing with a matter that affects the national interests of this country.”
Uche, in response, stated that the legal system in the United States differs from the English legal system practiced in Nigeria. He confirmed that the depositions were conducted in the law chambers of Atiku’s American lawyer, with involvement from Tinubu’s American lawyer.