‘Supreme Court can accept fresh evidence on presidential election dispute,’ Atiku tells Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, urged the Supreme Court on Saturday to consider his new evidence against President Bola Tinubu in their ongoing dispute over the February 25 election results.

On October 7, Atiku filed an application to introduce fresh evidence following the release of Tinubu’s academic records by Chicago State University in the United States.

Atiku maintains that President Tinubu submitted a fraudulent document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the election. President Tinubu, in response, objected to the application, arguing that it was submitted beyond the 180-day limit set by the Electoral Act for hearing election petitions. Atiku’s lead counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), reiterated that the time limit specified in Section 285(6) does not apply to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court when determining disputes related to assembly and governorship elections.

The apex court will begin hearing on the application on Monday.

He said: “Thereafter, the constitution was intentional and deliberate in setting the 180 days limit only for election tribunals, and not for the Court of Appeal. On the other hand, when it came to appeals, the Constitution clearly and expressly extended the same to the Court of Appeal.

“The constitution clearly excluded the Court of Appeal in the preceding subsection.

“The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction, to the exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria, to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal.

“An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court as of right in the following cases – (e) decisions on any question – (i) whether any person has been validly elected to the office of President or Vice President under this constitution.”