President Bola Tinubu’s legal team has denied the allegation that certified copies of the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, which was made available to all the parties by the Registry of the court, had their imprint on it.
The Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, TPLT, in a statement it made available to newsmen through its coordinator, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, described the allegation which has gained traction on social media as the handiwork of mischief makers.
Ogala, SAN, explained that lawyers representing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, were at the Registry of the court when certified copies of the PEPC judgement was handed to the parties.
According to him, upon receipt of the judgement, President Tinubu’s legal team watermarked its own copy before circulating it to its members.
He said: “Following some mischievous insinuations being made in certain quarters regarding the innocuous water-mark of copies of the consolidated judgment of the Court of Appeal with the inscription -‘Tinubu Presidential Legal Team ‘TPLT’, it is has become necessary to offer this clarification.
“After the delivery of judgment in the 3 (Three) election petitions by the Court of Appeal on September 6, 2023, the Court directed its registry to make physical copies of same available on September 7, 2023.
“Accordingly, the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team applied for a certified true copy of the said judgment and paid the prescribed fee.
“Lawyers for PDP were present at the registry at the same time to collect the same judgment.
“In fact, the representative of the PDP collected the first copy that was made available by the registry.
“On collecting our own copy, we immediately scanned and water-marked with the inscription – “Tinubu Presidential Legal Team ‘TPLT’” before circulating the scanned soft copies to the lawyers in our team.
“The certified true copies issued to us and other parties in the petitions by the registry do not contain the said inscription and any insinuation to the contrary is untrue.
“Counsel to the petitioners will also appreciate the fact that the insinuations being circulated in some quarters are untrue, unkind, unfair, and unfortunate, as they have the same certified copies of the judgment as we have,” the statement further read.
It will be recalled that the court had last Wednesday, upheld President Tinubu as the valid winner of the presidential election that held on February 25.
However, dissatisfied with the unanimous verdict of the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the court, both Atiku of the PDP and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who came second and third in the presidential election, vowed to approach the Supreme Court for redress.
Atiku, who has 14 days to perfect the filing of his appeal, had earlier accused the court of deliberately frustrating his effort to approach the apex court within time, alleging that it refused to furnish him with a copy of the judgement.