President Bola Tinubu, has offered 17 sets of exhibits in evidence to defend his eligibility to contest the presidential election that was held on February 25.
Tinubu, who maintained that he is the bonafide winner of the presidential contest, through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, tendered from the Bar, certified copies of bundles of documentary evidence before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja.
He adduced the evidence to defend the petition the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, filed to nullify his election victory.
Among the exhibits that the President tendered before the court, included a letter dated February 3, 2003, which the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, wrote to the Consul General of the Embassy of the United States of America, in Nigeria, demanding for his criminal record.
As well as a reply the US Embassy sent to the NPF on February 4, 2003, which indicated that there was no criminal file against him.
Other bundle of documents that President Tinubu tendered in court on Tuesday, were his academic records from Chicago State University, his travel records between 2012 and 2021, which was certified on July 3, 2023, by the Nigerian Immigration Service, as well as report of the Committee on the location of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
More so, the president offered Forms EC8A of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which represented the polling unit results of the presidential election in Kano State, and equally, Forms EC8D(A), which are the summary of results of the election from all the states of the federation.
Also admitted in evidence by the court was the certified true copy of an Originating Summons marked: SC/CV/354/2023, which the Attorneys-General of six PDP controlled states- Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto- filed at the Supreme Court on February 28 to void the outcome of the presidential election.
The last proof of evidence the President tendered in support of his election victory, were certified copies of six newspaper publications.
However, INEC and the All Progressives Congress, APC, through their team of lawyers led by Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, and Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, respectively, did not oppose the tendering of all the documents, but Atiku and the PDP, vehemently challenged the admissibility of all the exhibits.
The Petitioners said they would adduce reasons behind their objections, in their final written address.
Meanwhile, despite the objection, the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the court admitted all the documents in evidence and marked them as Exhibits RA 1 to RA 17.
It will be recalled that INEC had on March 1, announced Tinubu of the ruling APC as winner of the presidential poll, ahead of 17 other candidates that contested the election.
It declared that Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat the two major contenders, Atiku of the PDP who came second with a total of 6,984,520 votes and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.
However, dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, both Atiku and Obi, who are separately claiming that they won the presidential contest, approached the court to challenge Tinubu’s victory.