The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has rejected the request by Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for permission to inspect a supposed central server which they claimed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used to transmit electronically, results of the last presidential election.
In a unanimous ruling on Monday, a five-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, dismissed the application filed by Atiku and the PDP, saying, it “will be unpallalatable.”
The judges said it was impossible for the tribunal to delve into the server issue at the interlocutory stage of the panel’s sittings.
The PDP and Abubakar, through their lawyers, led by Levy Uzoukwu, asked the tribunal to compel INEC to grant them access to the server and smart card readers used in the conduct of the election.
INEC has since denied the existence of a server.
“They are asking us to bring something we do not have,” counsel to INEC, Yunus Usman had said.
Justice Garba had argued that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the elections held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC)”.
He said the Supreme Court had on many occasions warned judges to desist from “making observations, comments or pronouncements in its rulings with any likely effect of prejudging the main issue that can be regarded as the issue to be tried in the course of trial.”
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