Tinubu opens defence at election tribunal

Kayode Lawal

The Presidential Election Petition Court on Tuesday admitted as exhibits, the Chicago State University educational documents of President Bola Tinubu as he formally opened his defense in a petition filed against him by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku.

The documents tendered to establish his attendance and graduation at the American University comprised the admission letter offered Tinubu by the institution among others.

Through his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, President Tinubu also tendered his US Visa documents which indicated that he severally visited the United States of America unhindered between 2011 and 2021.

Tinubu tendered the documents to debunk allegations of criminality contained in the petition against him and made available to the Court all documents of the Nigeria Immigration Service which cleared him for the US trips.

Also admitted as exhibits by the Court are the Uinted State of America’s Embassy letter of April 4, 2003 which is a response to a letter of the Nigerian Police dated February 3, 2003 which claimed that the Embassy had no criminal records of Tinubu in the USA.

The documents were admitted inspite of rigorous objections against their respective admisibility by PDP and the former Vice President.

However, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the All Progressives Congress who are 1st and 3rd respondents in the petition did not object to admission of all the documents.

Apart from the educational documents, the Court further admitted an originating summons of a suit instituted at the Supreme Court by the Attorneys General of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto States challenging the educational background of Tinubu to stand for the 2023 presidential election.

Similarly, newspaper publications on several suits filed against Tinubu by several groups were also admitted as exhibits.

Meanwhile, further hearing in the petition has been shifted to July 5 by the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani.

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