P.E.P Court admits US judgment on Tinubu’s alleged $460,000 forfeiture for drug crime in Peter Obi’s petition
The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja has admitted a United States District Court judgment as evidence in the ongoing petition against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The judgment reportedly implicates Tinubu in drug-related offenses and orders the forfeiture of $460,000. The certified true copy of the judgment was presented by a witness, Barrister Lawrence Uchechukwu Nnana Nwakaeti, at the start of the hearing.
The witness, who is affiliated with the petitioner, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi of the Labour Party (LP), submitted the judgment to support Obi’s plea to nullify and set aside Tinubu’s election victory. Led by Mr. Jibrin Okutepa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the witness tendered the judgment on behalf of Obi and the Labour Party.
Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), voiced their objections to the admission of the US court judgment but chose to reserve their objections for the final address stage. This indicates that they plan to challenge the validity and relevance of the judgment later in the proceedings.
During cross-examination by Chief Wole Olanipekun, the counsel representing President Tinubu, the witness admitted that the US court judgment was not registered in Nigeria. Additionally, he acknowledged the absence of a certificate from any Consular in Nigeria or America supporting the judgment. However, he maintained that the judgment “speaks for itself” and claimed to have personally read it in its entirety.
Further questioning by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, the APC’s legal representative, revealed that the American court judgment lacked a certificate issued by any American Police Officer. The witness also denied having knowledge of a Formal Clearance Report from the American Embassy, dated February 4, 2003, regarding the alleged indictment and forfeiture.
When pressed by Fagbemi to produce a copy of the charges against Tinubu, the witness admitted not having any but emphasized that the indictment and forfeiture arose from civil proceedings.
In related news, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, has adjourned further hearing in the petition until May 31, allowing time for both parties to prepare their arguments.