The certificate of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has formed a major discourse in Nigeria. The trending development poses a threat to his current position as Nigeria’s 16th president.
Legit.ng reported that on Wednesday, March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu the winner of the 2023 presidential election against Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
The 70-year-old veteran politician got 37% of the vote, his main rival, Atiku Abubakar, polled 29%, and Labour Party’s Peter Obi 25%.
However, Atiku and Obi rejected the poll’s outcome and headed to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) to challenge Tinubu’s election victory.
On Wednesday, September 6, Nigeria’s presidential election tribunal ruled that Nigeria’s main opposition parties failed to prove claims of electoral malpractice against the governing APC in February’s 25 disputed elections.
The election tribunal rejected the opposition petition to overturn President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s February election victory.
This was immediately countered by Atiku and Obi, who flawed the tribunal’s verdict and headed to the appeal Supreme Court to strike down the tribunal’s ruling. Any appeal must be concluded within 60 days of the date of the tribunal judgement.
In a bid to further challenge his case against Tinubu at the apex court, Atiku demanded access to the president’s academic records at the Chicago State University (CSU).
Atiku had approached the court seeking an order to compel the university to release Tinubu’s records.
Channels TV reported that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the request filed by Atiku, seeking the release of President Tinubu’s academic records by the Chicago State University.
Tinubu’s lawyers, however, argued that their client is not willing to lift his privacy privilege, with the ruling also conceding this by using the term ‘non-privileged documents”.
Although Tinubu’s credentials indicated that he graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, there have been allegations bordering on discrepancies in the President’s certificate.
However, Tinubu has intensified his legal efforts to block the CSU from releasing his academic records to his rival, Atiku.
Why is Tinubu trying to stop Atiku from getting access to his academic records?
In an exclusive interview with Legit.ng via telephone, Oyo APC spokesperson Wasiu Olawale Sadare described Atiku’s case against Tinubu at the US court as a “time-wasting litigation”.
He disclosed that Tinubu’s lawyers follow due process and international laws, but the truth would eventually be revealed.
Mr Sadare stated thus:
“It is imperative we get to know that actions attract reactions. What President Tinubu’s lawyers are doing, regarding the former vice president Atiku’s time-wasting litigations abroad, is quite simple and understandable. It’s a matter of (international) law and it has to be tackled the right way. You cannot expect a professional footballers to deploy tennis racket when facing opponents on the field of play. In law, there are tactics and procedures. In fullness of time, the whole world would know better.”
Also speaking with Legit.ng on the development, the convener of APC South-East Coalition, Francis Okoye, said the court will determine the case’s outcome.
“The President is not stopping Atiku or any other person from getting access to his academic record in Chicago State University. The Matter is already in court, so let’s allow the court to adjudicate on it so as we don’t pre empt the court please.”
Supreme Court judgement: “Tinubu will defeat Atiku, Peter Obi”, APC camp insists
Meanwhile, the appeal filed by Atiku and Obi will be concluded within 60 days of the date of the tribunal judgement.
Interestingly, the APC camp maintained that the final court’s judgment would be determined by the outcome of the tribunal’s earlier verdict delivered in favour of Tinubu.
“APC will win again in Supreme Court”, Mr Okoye said, opining that Atiku and Obi’s case against Tinubu lacked merit, adding that the “apex court is not a father Christmas”.
The APC chieftain queried how Atiku and Obi lost at the election and at the tribunal and then would suddenly win at the Supreme Court overnight.
“How can Atiku or Obi win in the Supreme Court? Are we saying that the Apex Court would become a Father Christmas overnight such that it would manufacture electoral victory for those who clearly lost at the poll? The question of what either APC or Mr. President would do if his victory is upturned does not even arise because he won fair and square on February and he is here to complete his term(s) in office,” Mr Sadare affirmed.
Mr. Okoye stressed:
“These PDP and LP failed to prove their cases in the tribunal. They could not show any cause why they purportedly won the election , so how can the Supreme Court now turn around to declare them winner. It is a mission impossible. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and APC will again emerge victorious at the Supreme Court, I can assure you that. The court is not a father Christmas.”
Does APC have what it takes to win Edo, Bayelsa and Kogi states in November?
Meanwhile, ahead of the Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states, INEC has expressed readiness to record free, fair and credible polls.
The ruling APC, the main opposition PDP, and the LP have had a handful in the composition of their governorship campaign councils.
The parties’ leadership are not relenting in their quest to retain power in the three states and emerge victorious at the poll.
Speaking on the development, Oyo APC spokesperson Mr Sadare is convinced that the APC is the party to beat in the states.
According to him, the party is leaving no stone unturned to get the mandate of the people in the states, stressing that the “APC candidates will carry the day”.
Meanwhile, Mr Okoye expressed optimism that the APC will win in other states, but at Bayelsa state, headed by PDP’s Governor Douye Diri, it is a “50-50.”
“I am 100 percent sure that my party APC is retaining Kogi State in the upcoming Guber Election in the state because Outgoing Governor Yahaya Bello has shown true leadership and is in love with his people.
“Also for Edo State, the APC will win in Edo State. Outgoing Governor Obaseki has not really lived up to expectations from the people.
“As for Bayelsa, it is a 50-50 for PDP and APC.”
Do you agree President Tinubu is favouring Yoruba in his appointments?
Although Tinubu, during his inaugural address, maintained that his government would run an inclusive administration, his appointments so far have generated mixed criticism,
But the APC chieftains believed Tinubu was following the path the former President Muhammadu Buhari had taken.
Mr Okoye said:
“Politics is about carrying your people along. President Buhari was a Fulani northerner and most of the critical appointments he made while in office favoured his people. So it is not out of place for President Tinubu who is a southern Yoruba man to favour his people the more. If I am elected president today, I will do the same thing for my southern Igbo people.”
“However, I will caution that Federal Character should not be thrown overboard on the alter of ethnic chauvinism. Let the President spread the appointment, particularly we in the South East are already murmuring of being left behind, going by the appointments made so far. So More Igbos should be appointed into the Government,” he urged.
APC spokesperson reveals Peter Obi, Atiku’s fate at Supreme Court
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Mr Sadare predicted the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement in the case filed by Atiku and Obi against Tinubu’s victory.
Sadare disclosed that Atiku and Obi have no genuine case against Tinubu.
According to him, the presidential hopefuls are only in court to get more support; hence, Tinubu will defeat them.