Atiku’s fresh evidence, a fruitless fishing expedition — Oladele
A lawyer and former member of the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives, Kayode Oladele, has described as a “fruitless fishing expedition” the fresh application by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 25, 2023 poll, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for leave of the Supreme Court to file and tender President Bola Tinubu’s academic records, which he termed fresh evidence and just handed over to him by the Chicago State University, United States of America, on October 2, 2023.
He made his position on the demand by the former Vice President known in a statement in the early hours of Sunday.
Oladele said while the Supreme Court Rules allow fresh evidence in certain circumstances, election petitions definitely do not fall within the narrow exceptions.
He said, “Any evidence that did not form part of the record from the Presidential Election Petitions Court cannot be adduced on appeal to the Supreme Court under the color or toga of fresh evidence.
“This is because an election petition is sui generis and is in its own class.
“In other words, an election petition is a proceeding that is of its own kind, possessing an individualistic character, unique, and similar only to itself.
“It is unlike ordinary civil proceedings, and it is governed by its own unique constitutional and statutory provisions.”
Furthermore, Oladele stated that the provisions of the “Supreme Court Rules regarding fresh evidence will not apply in this case because any piece of evidence not in place during the filing of the petitioner’s petition or within 21 days thereof cannot be allowed to be filed in whatever form in election petition cases.
“This is constitutional.
“Otherwise, it would amount to an extension of time and amendment of the petition.
“To this end, it is trite that the provisions of Order 2 of the Supreme Court Rules will not apply in Atiku’s case.
“It is inapplicable to the election petition.
“Atiku’s attempt is a spurious, invidious, and fruitless fishing expedition, as it would be outside the period of 180 days.