President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, were on Thursday, October 26, 2023 confirmed as president and vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria respectively by the Supreme Court of Nigeria after affirming the judgment of the trial tribunal, the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) which on September 6, 2023 upheld the victory of the duo in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
The apex court unanimous decision of a full panel of seven led by Justice John Inyang Okroro, who read the judgment, was consequent upon the dismissal of two appeals brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi for lacking in merit.
In its wisdom, the court also rejected the application for leave to adduce fresh evidence brought by Atiku to show that Bola Tinubu’s certificate issued to him by Chicago State University, USA, which he tendered to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as his qualification document was forged and out-rightly fake.
According to the apex court, the appellant had enough time between June last year when the document was published by INEC and the 180 days his petition lasted at the PEPC, to search and produce the so called fake certificate as additional evidence to the trial tribunal instead of bringing it up now to the final court at the expiration of the mandatory period allowed by the Electoral Act.
It therefore declined to assume jurisdiction to entertain the matter and consequently dismissed the application.
The Supreme Court however dismissed both appeals for lacking in merit and thereafter upheld the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court which had on September 6, 2023 dismissed their petitions for also lack of merit.
The candidates and their parties had challenged the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which the apex court endorsed on Thursday October 26, 2023
The other Justices on the panel are Uwani Aji, Mohammed Garba, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Abubakar Tijjani, and Emmanuel Agim.
Salawa Ibrahim in his own support judgment said, “The application by Atiku is frivolous and vexatious and deserves to be dismissed. I find no merit in the appeal and I dismiss it and affirm the decision of the lower court.”
Agim on his own part said, “I agree with the reasoning of the lead decision that the fresh evidence is not authenticated by the authority where it was made before it was presented. It was not sealed or had any signature of the authority which authenticated it. It cannot be used in Nigeria without authentication.”
“I agree as to why it was obvious to all including those that brought it.
“The FCT violates the Fundamental principle of the interpretation of the Constitution and it must be interpreted in a way that provides equality.”
The presiding Justice of the panel, John Okoro in his own ruling said: “The failure for INEC to transmit results did not substantially affect the results of the election. Accordingly, this issue is resolved against the appellants.”
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