A three-man panel of the Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, is currently hearing the motion the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, filed to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to surrender all the materials that were used for the February 23 presidential election, for inspection.
The panel which is conducting its proceeding at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal , is headed by Justice Abdul Aboki. Other Justices on the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal hearing Atiku’s motion marked CA/A/P/EPT/1/2019, are Justices Emmanuel Agim and Peter Ige. In the motion ex-parte dated March 4, Atiku and the PDP, applied for leave of the tribunal to allow them to inspect the Voters Register, the Smart Card Reader Machines, Ballot Papers and other vital documents that were used in the conduct of the presidential election.
They equally prayed the tribunal to compel the electoral body to allow their agents to scan and make photocopies of vital documents used in the conduct of the election, for the purpose of establishing alleged irregularities. The Applicants, through their lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, told the tribunal that the reliefs sought against INEC was for the purpose of filing and maintaining an election petition they intend to lodge against the outcome of the 2019 Presidential Election.
The motion ex-parte motion was supported with a 12 paragraphed affidavit that was deposed to by one Col. Austin Akobundu, rtd, the director of Contact and Mobilization of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council. Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter are INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Meanwhile, Atiku’s lawyer is currently addressing the tribunal on the legal propriety of allowing him to scan some of the documents he is requesting for, instead of securing a Certified True Copy of same documents from the INEC.