Presidential Poll: Buhari, APC Secure Order To Inspect All Electoral Materials.

 Presidential Poll: Buhari, APC Secure Order To Inspect All Electoral Materials.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to grant President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, access to all the electoral materials that were used for the February 23 presidential election. President Buhari with L-R: SGF Boss

Mustapha, Hon. Farouk Adamu Aliyu and Chairman of Aspirant Forum Hon. Bashir Mohammed as he hosts to Dinner Members of APC Aspirant Forum in State House on 30th Oct 2018 The Tribunal, in two separate rulings by a three-man panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Abdul Aboki, ordered the electoral body to forthwith, make

available to President Buhari and the APC, both used and unused ballot papers it deployed across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, for the purpose of the presidential poll. Among other documents the tribunal granted the Applicants leave to inspect included all the voters registers. It held that the Applicants

should also be allowed to obtain Certified True Copies of all the documents that were used at the polling units, wards, local governments and state levels. The tribunal said it was inclined to grant the request pursuant to section 6(6) (a) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, section 137(2) and 151(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act and 47(1) of the

Third Schedule to Electoral Act. President Buhari and the APC had through their lawyers, Adelani Ajibade and Thomas Ojo, prayer the tribunal to order INEC to release the materials to enable them to prepare their defence to a petition the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar intends to lodge

against the outcome of the presidential poll. Buhari told the panel that Atiku had expressed his intention to go to court to challenge his declaration as winner of the presidential contest. He said he would need some of the electoral materials currently in INEC’s custody, to be able to prove that he legitimately secured the highest number of

valid votes ahead of Atiku who came second at the election. President Buhari noted that the tribunal had on March 6, granted a similar request in favour of Atiku and the PDP. Meantime, the tribunal which delivered the ruling around 7:30pm on Thursday, declined to order INEC to grant the Applicants access to the Smart Card Reader Machines

that were used for the presidential election. “I am of the view that the prayers sought, ought to be granted”, Justice Aboki held, stressing that the Applicants or their representatives should be granted access to the polling documents. “The 1st Respondent (INEC) is hereby ordered to forthwith, allow the Applicant or his representatives to

inspect all the polling documents used in the just concluded presidential election to allow the Applicant to defend any petition that may arise from his declaration as winner of the February 23 presidential election”, the tribunal held.

Ayomide Oyewole

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