By Esther Blankson
The Presidential Election Petition Court, in Abuja, on Tuesday admitted as exhibits the Chicago State University academic records of President Bola Tinubu, as well as a number of other documents.
Tinubu tendered the documents before the tribunal through his legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
In compliance with the tribunal’s Monday directive, the President, on Tuesday, opened his defence, in response to the petitions by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging his (Tinubu’s) victory in the February 25 presidential election.
At the Tuesday proceedings, Olanipekun also tendered Tinubu’s US visa.
Tinubu’s Chicago State University academic documents tendered by Olanipekun included a letter of admission offered to Tinubu by the institution.
Also tendered were documents of Nigeria Immigration Service, which, Olanipekun said, cleared Tinubu for US trips, indicating that he visited the US unhindered between 2011 and 2021.
Also admitted as exhibit by the court was a US Embassy letter of April 4, 2003 to the Nigeria Police, stating that the US Embassy had no criminal records of Tinubu in the US.
Apart from the educational documents, Tinubu also tendered newspaper publications on a number of lawsuits filed against him by different groups.
The court also 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 Tinubu’s candidacy to stand for the 2023 presidential election.
The court, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned further proceedings till Wednesday (today).
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission also, on Tuesday, opened and closed its defence in the petition filed by the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi, on the credibility of the February 25 presidential poll.
At the resumed proceedings on Tuesday morning, counsel for INEC, A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), proceeded to close its defence in the petition after calling the first witness, Lawrence Bayode, an assistant director in charge of its ICT department.
Bayode had on Monday testified in aid of the commission’s defence against the petition filed by the PDP and Atiku.
The tribunal adjourned till Wednesday (today) for Tinubu and his vice, Kassim Shetima, to open their defence in Obi’s petition.