CSU certificate saga: Why S’Court may not admit fresh evidence – Lawyer


A former Chairman at the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday
Ubani, has justified why the Supreme Court may not admit fresh evidence in the
appeal of the judgment of the presidential election petition tribunal.


Ubani was reacting to the case initiated by the presidential
candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar in the United


Atiku had requested for the release of President Bola
Tinubu’s certificate from the Chicago State University with claims that the
certificate the President submitted to the Independent National Electoral
Commission, INEC may not be authentic.


Speaking on the development on Channels Television’s Sunrise
Daily on Thursday, Ubani said, “Looking at the facts surrounding it, the issue
of admissibility of fresh evidence by the appellate court is very rare,
especially if that evidence was available to you while you were initiating the


“The Supreme Court will never, even the Court of Appeal will
not admit fresh evidence because their job is to review the decision of the
court below and not to now evaluate any evidence.


“They don’t take any evidence but there are special
circumstances under which fresh evidence can be admitted by the appellate court
and that ground is maybe by the time you file the case that evidence was not


President Tinubu, through his lawyers, resisted Atiku’s
demand for his records to be released, but the US court eventually ordered CSU
to release the President’s academic records to Atiku, who had told the court he
needed them for his appeal in the Supreme Court.


Ubani said it will take a lot from Atiku’s legal team to
convince the Supreme Court to admit fresh evidence in the appeal of the
election tribunal judgment, as the apex court will only be reviewing the
decision of the lower court.


The senior lawyer noted that Atiku’s legal team will be
challenged by Tinubu’s team on the issue of admissibility of fresh evidence;
adding that the court may be left to use its discretionary power to decide
whether or not to admit fresh evidence in the case.


He said, “The issue of admissibility of fresh evidence is
very critical, you must convince, and whoever is bringing it will be opposed by
the other party. So, the court now exercises what is called discretionary power
in either admitting or not allowing that fresh evidence to come in.”


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