Court admits Tinubu’s Chicago State University certificates as exhibits

The Presidential Election Petitions Court has accepted President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University credentials as exhibits during his defence against a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, challenging his election victory.

During the hearing, Tinubu’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, presented the educational documents, including his admission letter and graduation records from the American university. These documents were submitted to establish his attendance and graduation at the university. Tinubu also provided his American visa documents as evidence of his visits to the United States between 2011 and 2021.

The President submitted these documents to counter the allegations of criminality raised in the petition against him. He also presented all relevant documents from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) that cleared him for his US trips.

Additionally, the court admitted a letter from the US Embassy, dated April 4, 2003, in response to a letter from the Nigeria Police Force, dated February 3, 2003. The embassy’s letter stated that there were no criminal records of Tinubu in the US.

Despite objections from the PDP and former Vice President Abubakar, the court accepted the documents as exhibits. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the 1st and 3rd respondents in the petition, did not object to the admission of the documents.

In addition to the educational records, the court also admitted an originating summons from a Supreme Court suit initiated by the Attorneys General of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Sokoto states. The suit challenges Tinubu’s educational background to qualify for the 2023 presidential election.

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After presenting the documentary evidence, President Tinubu’s lawyers requested an adjournment to call oral witnesses.

Earlier in the day, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concluded its defence in the petition filed by the Labour Party, having called one witness at the Tribunal. The witness, an ICT expert named Lawrence Bayode, admitted that some results downloaded from INEC’s portal were blurred. However, he maintained, under cross-examination, that the presidential election results released by the commission were authentic. Disagreeing with his assessment, Patrick Ikwueto, the lawyer representing the Labour Party, argued that the largely unreadable results could not be considered authentic.

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