The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will return to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) today with an application seeking an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow them, or their agents, to participate in the process of sorting out ballot papers used in the election.
The motion exparte marked CA/PEC/10M/2023 is predicated on 11 grounds, including that the applicants want to ensure the sanctity and propriety of the documentary and electronic evidence in the custody of INEC to enable them to maintain the election petition in challenging the result declared by the electoral body.
According to the Guardian, the applicants stated that there is a need for them to observe/participate in the aforementioned sorting and exercise in all INEC offices nationwide in order to effectively comply with the tribunal’s order made on March 3, 2023, granting them leave to inspect, scan, carry out forensic examination and analysis of the ballot papers, data form, BVAS/and or card readers, including photocopying of the ballot papers, information stored in the computed
The applicants also harped on the need to have their agents, officials, and representatives present at the sorting out of the said documents at all the offices of INEC where the exercise is scheduled to take place nationwide so as to ensure transparency and that the ballot papers are not tampered with.
The motion ex parte filed by their lead counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN), is backed up by a six-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Nanchang Ndam, a litigation secretary to the applicants’ lead team formed to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
According to INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Tinubu received 8,794,726 votes, defeating 17 other candidates in the election.
However, both the Labour Party’s Peter Obi and the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar have challenged Tinubu’s victory at the Presidential Tribunal.