In a new twist, the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, admitted in evidence, a United States of America (USA) District Court judgment which reportedly indicted Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ordered his forfeiture of $460,000 in drug-related offences.
The certified true copy of the judgment was tendered through the first witness called by Obi and his party, Labour Party (LP), Barrister Lawrence Uchechukwu Nnana Nwakaeti at the commencement of hearing of their joint petition against Tinubu’s election.
Led in evidence by Mr Jibrin Okutepa, (SAN), the witness tendered the Court’s judgment as part of requests by Obi and his Party to get Tinubu’s declaration as winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential election nullified and set aside.
However, Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) announced that they have objections against the admission of the judgment but reserved the objections to final address stage.
Under cross-examination by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN ), counsel to President Tinubu, and Vice President, Kashim Shettima, the witness admitted that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.
The witness, a lawyer also admitted that there was no certificate from any Consular in Nigeria or America in support of the judgment but insisted that “the judgment speaks for itself”.
He claimed to have been to the United States of America and read the judgment in its entirety adding that he would be surprised if no mention was made of $460,000 forfeiture.
Also under cross-examination by counsel to the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the witness said that the American Court judgment had no certificate given under the hand of any American Police Officer.
He denied knowledge of a February 4, 2003, Formal Clearance Report by Legal Attachee from American Embassy in respect of the alleged indictment and forfeiture.
When asked by Fagbemi to produce a copy of the charges against Tinubu, the witness admitted not having any but maintained that the indictment and forfeiture are from civil proceedings.
Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has shifted further hearing in the petition, numbered, CA/PEPC/03/2023 till May 31.
Reporter: Israel I.