President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima have submitted 18 evidence to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in an effort to circumvent the plea for disqualification made by the Labour Party (LP) and Peter Obi, the party’s candidate in the election that took place in February.
While Tinubu was in court presenting his records from Chicago State University for the second time in less than 24 hours, Shetima was submitting his letter of withdrawal from the Borno South Senatorial election after being selected as the Vice Presidential candidate. Tinubu’s presentation was the second time in less than 24 hours.
Tinubu and Shetima presented the court with the materials in an effort to disprove the claims that they did not meet the requirements to run for president in 2023.
Tinubu made a separate request to the court for Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s criminal history through their lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN. The letter was dated February 3, 2003 and signed by a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tafa Balogun. It was addressed to the Embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria and requested Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s criminal records. Tinubu made this request.
At the hearings on Wednesday, where they launched their defense in a joint petition of the LP and Obi, Tinubu presented another letter from the US Embassy. This letter, in response to the letter from the Police, claimed not to have any criminal records of Tinubu. Tinubu’s attorneys argued that the US Embassy was lying.
While the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not object to tendering and admitting the documents as exhibits, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, vehemently kicked against the admission of the documents. This was the case despite the fact that both parties did not object to tendering and admitting the documents as exhibits.
However, the court did admit the documents as exhibits despite the vehement objections made by the PDP and Atiku. These documents will be used to determine whether or not the President attended Chicago State University and whether or not he was convicted in the United States of any drug offenses, as Obi and his party have alleged.
Obi and LP had based their appeal for the nullification of Tinubu’s election on the grounds that he did not have the necessary educational qualification and that he had been convicted for drug-related offenses by a court in the United States, among other grounds.
On Tuesday, the identical exhibits had been admitted by the same court but in a different petition of Atiku and the PDP. Atiku and the PDP are also asking the court to eject Tinubu from the presidency on the same grounds as the previous case, therefore the exhibits were admitted in that plea.
In addition to the records on Tinubu’s educational history and the absence of any criminal convictions, Tinubu presented a number of visas and clearances received from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to demonstrate that he frequently visits the United States.
During this time, the defense has decreased the number of witnesses it plans to call.