Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PREPEC) on Tuesday, admitted in evidence, bundles of President Bola Tinubu Educational records from the Chicago State University, United States of America, in proof of his qualification for the 2023 presidential election.
The documents tendered alongside many others by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN were aimed at disproving allegations of forgery and perjury made against Tinubu, who won the February 25 presidential election.
Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the tribunal over Tinubu’s victory at the presidential poll.
Besides allegations of irregularities, corrupt practices and substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws guiding the 2023 general election, Atiku and PDP had amongst others sought the nullification of Tinubu’s election as president, on the grounds that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the poll.
According to the petitioners, Tinubu lied in his Form EC9 submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the presidential poll and in proving their allegations the petitioners brought in a witness, one Mike Enahoro-Ebah, who tendered documents he said was obtained from the Chicago State University; showing discrepancies in the age, name and even gender in the academic records of Tinubu.
However, at Tuesday’s proceedings when Tinubu was called upon to open his defence against the allegations contained in Atiku’s petition, he brought before the court Certified True Copies of his educational records from the institution, dated June 28, 2023 and duly signed by an Associate General Counsel, Office of the Legal Affairs.
Amongst the documents from the institution received by the court is a letter of admission offered Tinubu by the university.
Meanwhile, other documents Tinubu tendered and were admitted as exhibits despite opposition of the PDP include; a letter from the Nigeria Police to the United States Embassy, dated February 3, 2003; letter from the United States Embassy to the Nigeria Police, dated February 4, 2003; and US Visas and immigration documents between 2011 and 2021. The documents; six in all were duly certified by the Nigeria Immigration Service on July 3, 2023.
The documents are aimed at disproving allegations of criminality against Tinubu in the US.
Recall that the petitioners had tendered a notarized judgment of a United States Court ordering the forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 against Tinubu over alleged complicity in drug related offences.
Also tendered and admitted is an originating summons of a suit instituted at the Supreme Court by the Attorneys General of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto States challenging the educational background of Tinubu to stand for the 2023 presidential election.
Others are; copy of Reports of the Committee on the Location of the Federal Capital of Nigeria, certified by Archives and History Bureau of the FCT, with payment receipts attached dated April 13, 2023; copy of Form EC 8D for Kano State in respect of the February 25, 2023 presidential election; and copy of Form EC 8D(A) in respect of the presidential election of 25th February, 2023.
Recall that amongst the grounds Atiku is seeking the nullification of Tinubu’s election is that Tinubu did not score 25% of votes in the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) and ought not to be declared winner by INEC.
After tendering the above documents, Olanipekun, informed the court that the 2nd respondent would be calling his witnesses the next day (Wednesday) to speak to the tendered documents.
Justice Haruna Tsammani subsequently adjourned to Wednesday for continuation of trial and defence of the 2nd respondent.