Atiku, Obi
Atiku, Obi

Tribunal rejects INEC’s request to vary orders in Atiku, Obi’s favour

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday rejected the application by the Independent National Electoral Commission to vary the orders it earlier granted to the Peoples Democratic Party and Labour Party presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi respectively, to inspect election materials used during the presidential poll.

According to reports, the court issued the restraining order in the ruling it gave on Friday granting permission to Atiku and Obi to inspect the sensitive materials used for the conduct of the February 25 election.

Both Atiku and Obi obtained the order to challenge the outcome of the election which they alleged was marred by fraud and other irregularities.

INEC on March 1 declared the All Progressives Congress candidate, Bola Tinubu, the winner of the election but the PDP and the LP candidates are contesting the outcome.

They subsequently filed separate ex parte applications, praying to be granted access to inspect sensitive materials that INEC used for the conduct of the presidential poll.

But INEC, in a motion on the notice filed on March 4, asked the court to vary the order restraining it from tampering with materials used for the election.

The commission said it needed to reconfigure the BVAS for the next round of elections which would be held on Saturday.

But the court, in its ruling on Wednesday, said the application was unnecessary because it never granted permission to Atiku, Obi and their parties to scientifically access and inspect INEC’s database, including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System devices.

The tribunal said the apprehension being expressed by INEC, which includes the possible revelation of the identities of voters and their voting choices, was unnecessary because no applicant was granted leave to access INEC’s database.

Details later…