ABUJA, Nigeria – On Tuesday, July 4, 2023, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu submitted 17 sets of exhibits to the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, in Abuja as evidence to defend his eligibility to contest in the presidential election that took place on February 25, 2023.
He affirmed his victory in the presidential election and countered the petition filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, which seeks to nullify his election.
Led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, President Tinubu’s legal team tendered various documents, including a letter dated February 3, 2003, from the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, inquiring about his criminal record.
A response from the U.S. Embassy, dated February 4, 2003, indicated that there was no criminal file against him.
Among other documents presented were President Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago State University, his travel records from 2012 to 2021 certified by the Nigerian Immigration Service, a report from the Committee on the location of the Federal Capital Territory, Forms EC8A from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which represented polling unit results from Kano State, and Forms EC8D(A) which summarized election results from all states.
Additionally, the certified copy of an Originating Summons marked SC/CV/354/2023, filed by the Attorneys-General of six PDP-controlled states (Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Sokoto) at the Supreme Court to challenge the presidential election outcome, was admitted in evidence.
President Tinubu also submitted certified copies of six newspaper publications.
While INEC and the All Progressives Congress, APC, did not object to the submission of these documents, Atiku Abubakar and the PDP contested the admissibility of all exhibits and stated they would detail their objections in their final written address.
The PEPC, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, accepted all the documents as evidence, labeling them as Exhibits RA 1 to RA 17.
INEC had declared President Tinubu of the APC the winner of the presidential election, reporting that he obtained 8,794,726 votes, defeating Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, who received 6,984,520 votes, and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who secured 6,101,533 votes.
Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi have independently filed petitions, challenging the election results and President Tinubu’s eligibility to contest.
They have sought the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return issued to President Tinubu by INEC.
Atiku contends that President Tinubu exhibited inconsistencies regarding his personal details and claimed that the degree certificate allegedly obtained from Chicago State University did not belong to him.
He further challenged President Tinubu’s eligibility based on accusations of prior indictment and fine by the United States District Court for dishonesty and drug trafficking.
The court adjourned further proceedings until Wednesday.