The Supreme Court of Nigeria has thrown out the additional evidence from Chicago State University (CSU) brought by Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election.
It has also dismissed Peter Obi and the Labour Party position on 25% of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) required to win the presidential election.
The apex court ruled that FCT citizens do not enjoy special privileges ahead of other States.
“The decision of the lower court is unassailable and I see no difficulty in agreeing with it”, Justice Inyang Okoro, who passed the judgement said.
On Atiku’s CSU evidence, the court rejected the motion on notice, stressing that fresh evidence cannot be entertained and the evidence was belated.
Said Justice Okoro, “An election tribunal shall determine its judgement within 180 days of filing of petition and therefore the court of appeal lost jurisdiction after 180 days
“The Supreme Court cannot activate its Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act after 180 days has lapsed at the lower court. I still wonder how the appellants intend to use the evidence in this appeal.
“The application to file fresh evidence runs foul of the provisions of the Electoral Act that prohibits the amendment of election petition of 21 days of the election petition.
“The Supreme court found as ridiculous the submission of Atiku Counsel that the 180-day rule does not apply to court of appeal sitting on the presidential election petition.
“The provision of the Constitution has spoken. There cannot be addendum. Appeals are continuation of hearing on matters of the lower court.”
Atiku is challenging the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which dismissed his election petition, challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election and affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The motion on notice contained evidence disclaiming the certificate from CSU presented by President Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 presidential election.