The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 poll, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, said he did not betray President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over the allegation of certificate forgery he levelled against him in court. Rather, he stated that the former Lagos State governor abandoned him as well as the Action Congress of Nigeria and supported Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of the PDP in the 2007 presidential poll. Atiku also recalled how he saved Tinubu by not allowing former President Olusegun Obasanjo to take over Lagos State in the 2007 general elections.
However, the All Progressives Congress has knocked Atiku following his Thursday attack on Tinubu, saying his ill-timed press conference was in gross contempt of the Supreme Court. The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, said the ruling party was not bothered by Atiku’s claims, which it said lacked purpose and delivered nothing except “the pitiful regurgitation of lies, mindless distortions and deliberate falsehood on Atiku’s infantile obsession with the academic record of the president.’’
But Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February elections, vowed not to give up on his quest to prove that Tinubu forged the Chicago State University certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission before the polls.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the former Vice President of Nigeria also urged the presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, to support his quest for justice.
Calling for mass support for his crusade, Atiku said, ‘’In line with this, therefore, I am calling on all well-meaning Nigerians, leaders of thought, our religious leaders, our traditional leaders, our community leaders, our political leaders, and in particular, (ex) Governor Peter Obi of the Labour Party and (ex) Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP and the leaders of every political party in Nigeria and, indeed, every single person who loves this country, as I do, and who wishes nothing but the best for the country, as I do, to join me in this campaign to enshrine probity, accountability and the basic principles of justice, morality and uprightness in our country and our government.”
Atiku’s lawyer, Kalu Kalu alleged that the CSU confirmed that Tinubu forged the certificate he presented to INEC. Also, the qualifying certificates from Southwest College to Chicago bear a female indicating that the document does not belong to Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The CSU admission has a claim that Bola Ahmed Tinubu attended government college, Lagos, and graduated in 1970 when indeed, the school was established in 1974. We were told by the CSU Registrar that the A in CSU stands for Adekunle, but the A in the certificate submitted by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to INEC has the NYSC certificate as Adekunle,’’ he further claimed.
Kalu Kalu declared that the Supreme Court had held that they could permit a party to adduce fresh evidence as long as certain conditions were met, adding that “from what transpired in the proceedings in US courts, that condition is going to be met. So as we speak, our law is very clear that a party at fault cannot be allowed to enjoy the fruit of his illegality.”
Meanwhile, Atiku has reportedly filed fresh evidence obtained from the Chicago State University, United States to strengthen his appeal in the Supreme Court against Tinubu. A credible source, who is close to the former Vice President, exclusively disclosed that Atiku submitted fresh evidence.
Responding to a question from our correspondent on the matter, the source said; “Yes, we have submitted fresh evidence to the Supreme Court before the deadline.”
But APC spokesman Morka dismissed Atiku’s charges against the President as a display of desperation and an attempt to whip up public sentiments and put the Supreme Court under pressure.
He said, “For several weeks now, Nigerians and the world have watched Atiku Abubakar display of utter desperation in his failed bid to become the President of Nigeria. ‘’On Thursday, he put his desperation in overdrive during his press conference where he addressed some of the issues in his appeal at the Supreme Court and bandying unproven charges against the President of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a calculated attempt to shamelessly whip up public sentiments and inordinately pressure the Supreme Court.
“We believe Atiku should have known better than to demonstrate gross contempt of the highest court by making public comments on a matter that he has submitted to the court for adjudication.
‘’The major take-away from his Yar’Adua Centre show, especially at question time, was that Atiku harbours deep animosity towards Tinubu whom he believes was responsible for his electoral woes in 2007, 2015, 2019 and this year 2023.’’
‘’This is a contempt of the highest court in the land. He and his lawyers should know better. The Supreme Court should hold them in contempt for speaking to what they are presenting before it. It is so unnecessary.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Labour Party has admonished Atiku to leave out its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, out of his feud with the President.
The party’s response was a reaction to an earlier call by the PDP candidate on Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, to join his crusade in exposing the alleged dirty secrets of the president.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, on Thursday, the party disclosed that its candidate shouldn’t be distracted as he is presently focused on reclaiming his ‘stolen mandate’ from the apex court.
The statement read; “The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi is presently in the Supreme Court seeking to reclaim his stolen mandate and he is focused on that.
“He has been in the vanguard of ensuring a just nation where justice must be the watchword, and he will not stop until Nigeria achieves the leadership it truly deserves. Peter Obi has pontificated severally on the need for leaders to be good role models and to live a life worthy of emulation.
“This he has done by publicly putting his credentials in the open for verification. Nigeria will get better when men of integrity and honour drive the affairs of the nation. We therefore welcome every other interest willing to join us in our pursuit of a nation where justice shall reign,” the statement concluded.
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