The All Progressives Congress, APC has stated that its candidate in the 2023 presidential election was qualified to contest for the office.
According to the party, allegations that Bola Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to the US government, having lasted a period of 29 years, was no longer a valid ground to challenge his eligibility to contest the presidential election.
According to Vanguard, the ruling party, in processes filed to defend the outcome of the presidential election held on February 25, maintained that the outcome of the inquiry, which the Federal Government made through the Inspector-General of Police, cleared Tinubu to contest.
APC told the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting at the Court of Appeal, in Abuja, that it would apply for a subpoena to be issued again at the IGP to enable him to adduce and tender in evidence the letter dated February 3, 2003, reference number SR.3000 /IGP SEC/ABJ/VOL, 24/287, which triggered the clearance letter of the Legal attaché of the US Embassy in Nigeria, as well as the response to same dated February 4, 2003.
It further argued that the said forfeiture Tinubu made to the US government, having lasted a period of 29 years, was no longer a valid ground to challenge his eligibility to contest the presidential election.
“The Respondent states that, in any event, the impleaded decision of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division is not a decision by a competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria; and same has been falsely, mischievously paraded by 2nd Respondent’s political adversaries like the petitioners, detractors and haters to scandalize, demonize and de-market him to the Nigerian electorate at the 25th February, 2023 general election with a view to delegitimizing his well-earned victory at the polls, despite all legitimate and fact-checked denials and rebuttals as exemplified by the official report from the United States affirming his innocence and exonerating him from the touted drug connection and criminal conviction.
“The Respondent states further that in any event, the said decree of forfeiture was made by Judge John A Nordberg in the said Case No: 93C4483 on the 4th day of October 1993, a period of 29 years before the 25th day of February 2023 when the said presidential election was duly conducted by the 1st Respondent.
“The Respondent avers that the allegations referred to in the said paragraph have been subjecting to litigation and duly litigated upon by a court of competent jurisdiction in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1146/1999.
“The Respondent further avers that having been litigated upon by a competent court of law, this Honorable Court is estopped from retrying the same issues that have been appealed against. The Respondent shall find and rely upon the judgment in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1146/1999.
“Without prejudice to the above, the Respondent avers that the Nigeria Police Force investigated the 2nd Respondent regarding any record of criminal arrest and/or conviction. The investigation was extensive and far-reaching.
“Consequently, the American Consulate, Lagos Nigeria revealed that there was no record whatsoever of any criminal arrest, warrants and/or conviction regarding the 2nd Respondent. The Respondent shall found and rely on letter issued by the Embassy of United States of America, Nigeria dated 4th February 2003.”