The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have vowed to challenge the ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that dismissed their application to inspect election materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal, in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel of Justices led by Justice Mohammed Garba, said the request could not be granted since the issue of whether such central server existed or not, is already a subject of controversy in the substantive petition that is challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
But immediately after the ruling was delivered, the PDP and Atiku, vowed to challenge it at the Supreme Court.
“The nation was looking forward to this ruling and it is one that is very pivotal to this matter. The Electoral Act itself empowers the tribunal to grant access such as this to the petitioners in order to institute and maintain a petition, and that is what we are asking for.
“Somehow, at this stage, the court has ruled. But definitely this is a matter we want to take higher to the Supreme Court to challenge this ruling because we strongly feel that section 151 of the Electoral Act entitles us to have access to these materials”, a senior member of the petitioners legal team, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, told Journalists.
On its part, INEC, through its lawyer, Mr. Usman Uztaz, SAN, said it was satisfied with the ruling. “These are issues to be tried during the hearing, you cannot try them in piecemeal”, INEC’s lawyer told newsmen.
Babatunde Alao …
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