Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have asked the Presidential Election Tribunal 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 request was contained in a motion ex-parte filed by the aggrieved political party and its candidate dated March 4, 2019.
In the said motion ex-parte, Atiku and the PDP have asked the tribunal to grant them leave 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.
In addition, they further urged the tribunal to compel INEC 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.
Counsel to the applicants, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), disclosed that the reliefs sought against INEC were for the purpose of filing and maintaining an election petition they intend to lodge against the outcome of the 2019 presidential election.
Filed in support of the motion ex parte was a 12-paragraphs affidavit deposed to by one Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), the Director of Contact and Mobilisation of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council. Meantime, no date has yet been fixed for the hearing of the motion which has INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, (APC), as 1st to 3rd respondents.
According to the result of the disputed presidential polls released by INEC, Atiku and his political platform came second behind President Buhari of the APC.
While rejecting the result of the presidential election, Atiku vowed to challenge its outcome in court.
He and PDP alleged that the election was not free and fair but fraught with manifest irregularities adding that results collated by agents at various polling units across the federation, were at variance with what was eventually declared by INEC, in favour of President Buhari.
Uche explained to our correspondent that the procedure was a condition precedent for the filling of an election petition.
He assured that the main petition would be filed at the tribunal this week.