Abuja, NIGERIA — The President-Elect, Bola Tinubu has sought an order from the Court of Appeal to access sensitive materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the presidential election of February 25.
INEC had declared Tinubu the winner of the presidential poll ahead of 17 other candidates that contested the election.
Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku who polled a total of 6,984,520 votes and Obi who came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes, according to results announced by INEC.
Akintola Makinde, a counsel to Tinubu said he would need to inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the electoral materials to enable him to prepare his defense against petitions seeking to nullify Tinubu’s election.
Makinde stated this on Tuesday at the day’s sitting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
INEC had asked the Presidential Election Petition Court to vary the orders which were earlier granted to the candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi to inspect materials used for last presidential election.
Meanwhile, counsel for INEC, Tanimu Inuwa, has asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss the Labour Party’s request to inspect the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
At Tuesday’s sitting, counsel for the LP, Onyechi Ikpeazu, said his team needs a physical inspection of the BVAS to enable them carry out a forensic inspection. They also asked INEC to preserve and configure the evidences.
Counsel for INEC, Inuwa, however, asked the court to dismiss the application on the ground that it will cause serious delay in the governorship election for March 11.
He added that there are 176,000 polling units across the country and each has its own unique BVAS machine which needs to be configured and it will be very difficult for them to configure such within a short period.
Inuwa assured that no data will be lost as they have transferred the data to their backend server. The Court of Appeal, Abuja had on March 3 granted the request of Obi and Atiku to have access to all the sensitive materials INEC deployed for the conduct of the presidential election held on February 25.
The applicants urged the court to compel INEC to allow them to obtain documents in its custody that were used for the presidential election.
They maintained that the requested documents would aid their petition against the outcome of the presidential contest that was declared in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu.
By Oluyemi Ogunseyin/The Guardian