At the Presidential Election Petitions Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, the legal team of President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun SAN, began his defence by tendering 18 duly certified documents to quash Peter Obi’s petition against their election victory.
Two of the documents tendered by Tinubu’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun SAN were “Peter Obi’s forwarding letter for the submission of membership registration dated April 25, 2022 as well as his Register of Membership for Anambra state,” duly certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In their court documents seen by THE WHISTLER, Olanipekun insisted that Peter Obi, as at April 30, was still a member of the People’s Democratic Party and his name was not and could not have been in the register of members submitted by Labour Party to INEC.
But in Obi’s legal team response to Tinubu’s submission on his sponsorship by the Labour Party, they maintained that the allegation is “misconceived” because their claim are pre-election matters and “matters internal to the Labour party.”
Obi’s team had maintained in their documents seen by THE WHISTLER that while he was granted a “certificate of waiver” to join LP on May 25, 2022, the allegation of Tinubu against his qualification is not backed by Sections 131 and 137 of the 1999 constitution.
Other documents tendered by Olanipekun are as follows: “Letter from Nigeria Police to the United States Embassy dated February 3, 2003 asking for some information about Tinubu’s criminal record, the reply from US Embassy to the Nigeria Police, same year, 12 documents relating to the educational record of Tinubu from Chicago State University duly certified by Jamaal Cor, Associate General Counsel, Office of Legal Affairs, Chicago State University, data page of Tinubu’s Nigerian passport issued on February 2, 2011 and November 20, 2019, duly certified by Nigerian Immigration Service.
“Tinubu’s visas to the United States issued between February 4, 2011 and November 18, 2021, duly certified by Nigerian Immigration Service, Copy of Reports of the Commission on the location of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, obtained from the FCT Archives and Historical Bureau, dated 1975, copy of Form EC8D(A)( The single sheet from which INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu announce winner of the presidential election) and Form Form EC8D for Kano state in respect of the presidential election.”
Others are “Acknowledgement copy of Kashim Shettima’s notice of voluntary withdrawal of candidacy from Borno Central Senatorial District election, dated July 6, 2023, Judgement of the Supreme Court in SC/CV/501/2023 between Peoples Democratic party and Independent National Electoral Commission and 3 others delivered on May 26, 2023 and Copies of page 27, 28, of Nigerian Tribune Newspaper of February 23, 2023.”
Tendering of all the documents were backed by the legal team of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the All Progressives Congress.
But Peter Obi’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu SAN, vehemently opposed the admissibility of all the documents except the letter about his registration and membership.
But Uzoukwu said he would advance his reasons for objection in his final address.
Subsequently, the court admitted all the documents as Tinubu’s evidence.
The court then stood down for some minutes for Olanipekun to call his witnesses.