Nigerian legal expert and politician, Daniel Bwala, responded to statements made by supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) regarding the potential rejection of documents obtained by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, by the Supreme Court.
Bwala, a seasoned lawyer in Nigeria, explained that the Supreme Court functions not only as a legal tribunal but also as a custodian of public policy. He emphasized that the Supreme Court’s decisions are not restricted by mere technicalities but are rooted in the presence of substantial and compelling evidence.
“And to the point that Supreme Court will not accept a document or fact which has not been pleaded at the trial court; well the law we know is that the Supreme Court is not just a court of law, but of public policy; meaning it is not bound by technicalities of procedures, but substantial justice,” he said.
He went on to emphasize the provision in the Nigerian constitution, specifically in Section 122(4) of the Evidence Act, which allows the court to consider a document or book presented by an individual who seeks to rely on it in the pursuit of substantial justice.
Additionally, Mr Afolabi recently highlighted that the Electoral Act does not permit the introduction of new evidence during an appeal unless the party in question has already listed the document they intend to rely on at the time of filing the initial petition.
“The Electoral Act does not allow for the introduction of new evidence on appeal. A party must provide a list of the documents he intends to rely on at the time his Petition is filed.” “A party cannot spring a surprise on his adversary by introducing evidence that was not filed along with the petition,” he said.
Daniel Bwala’s response stemmed from a comment made by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Babatunde Ogala, who referred to individuals relying on Atiku’s Chicago State University certificate evidence as a “headless mob” who get excited over trivial matters.
He said, “The headless mob is masturbating over nothing. The documents can no longer be used. It is of no value. We have passed that stage.”
Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Labour Party candidate, Mr Peter Obi, and the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have all turned to the Nigerian Supreme Court following the decision of the Tribunal.
The Nigerian populace eagerly awaits the Supreme Court’s verdict, as Atiku continues his determined pursuit of acquiring evidence that may be utilized against Bola Ahmed Tinubu.