Supreme Court Begins Hearing In PDP, LP, APM’s Appeals

The Supreme Court is set to hear the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and Allied Peoples Movement (APM), seeking the nullification of President Bola Tinubu’s election. 

Justice Inyang Okoro is in charge of the seven-member justice panel. Others are Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, Justice Adamu Jauro, Justice Tijani Abubakar, Justice Emmanuel Agim, and Justice Lawal Garba.

In attendance are the All-Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje; LP Chairman, Julius Abure; the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu; and other party faithful.

The apex court will hear the motion by PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar seeking to bring fresh evidence to prove that President Tinubu submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a hearing notice, the apex court fixed 9 a.m. as the date for Atiku’s lawyers and those of President Tinubu to address its panel of seven justices on whether it has the power to grant the request.

They are to argue and cite relevant laws on whether such a request is grantable under the country’s Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022.

The 32-page documents were released to him on the orders of Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, United States of America.

Hearing Begins

At the hearing on Monday, the counsel to Atiku Abubakar, Chris Uche, was the first to address the court on the Chicago State University results.

He said the issue involving the certificate is a weighty one, grave and constitutional, which the Supreme Court should admit as fresh evidence.

According to him, the court has a duty to take a look at the certificate and reach a decision by avoiding the issue of technicality.

Justice Inyang Okoro asks him if the Supreme Court should rely on the Electoral Act or the Constitution.

Mister Uche replies that the issue is a constitutional one that the court should look into.

Justice Emmanuel Agim asks what the nature of Atiku’s fresh documents that he seeks to tender before the court is.

He also asks if the testimony by the CSU Registrar was conducted in a court.

Justice Okoro asks Mister Uche why he wants the Supreme Court to brush aside constitutional provisions and entertain the fresh evidence.

Mister Uche explained that section 233 of the constitution gives the court the power to entertain whether a person was properly elected.

In his argument, counsel to President Bola Tinubu, Wole Olanikpekun, says the question of 180 days is clear.

He wondered where the court would compartmentalize Atiku’s fresh evidence. He describes it as an application in wonderland and ought to be dismissed as it lacks merit.

He added that the court is bound by law, and the law should be interpreted as it is, and not how it ought to be.

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