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Atiku urges Supreme Court to prioritise merit over technicalities, challenges Tinubu’s stance on new evidence

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Atiku urges Supreme Court to prioritise merit over technicalities, challenges Tinubu’s stance on new evidence

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential poll, Atiku Abubakar, has again asked the Supreme Court to jettison technicality and grant his application for leave to tender fresh and additional evidence to support his claim that President Bola Tinubu, submitted forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Atiku predicated his plea on the grounds that presenting forged documents by any candidate, especially by one for the highest office in the land, is a grave constitutional issue that must not be encouraged.

The former Vice President stated this in his reply on point of law to Tinubu’s objection to grant leave for Atiku to present the fresh evidence before the apex court.

President Tinubu had predicated his objection on grounds of jurisdiction and that the issue of qualification is a pre-election matter amongst others and subsequently prayed the court to deny the grant of the application.

While faulting President Tinubu, Atiku submitted that issues of merit ought not to be determined or pronounced upon at the interlocutory stage.

READ ALSO: Battle for 2023 presidency continues as Tinubu seeks dismissal of Atiku’s petition

The appellants/applicants while noting that they are only at this stage merely applying for leave of the Supreme Court to receive the fresh evidence, submitted that “to refuse to grant the leave as the respondents have argued, will amount to undue technicality.”

Meanwhile, in a 20 paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the application, Atiku argued that if the apex court grants the application, there would be no need for “any further argument other than the written address in support of same, showing that the 2nd Respondent is in violation of the provisions of Section 137 (1) (j) of the Constitution by presenting a certificate disclaimed by the institution from where he purportedly procured same.”

Atiku also faulted President Tinubu’s submission that he was inconsistent in his names, describing the submission as immaterial and pedestrian, as there is no petition challenging his qualification.

Besides, Atiku pointed out that the presentation of a forged certificate disqualifies a candidate for all time, no matter when presented.

 

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