PDP, Atiku ask tribunal to make INEC surrender election materials for inspection

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have filed a motion to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to surrender all materials that were used for the February 23 presidential election, for inspection. Inspection of election materials usually precedes the filing of an election petition.

The motion ex-parte was on Tuesday lodged before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, which will conduct its proceedings at the Court of Appeal Headquarters in Abuja. INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, were joined as the first to the third respondents in the motion filed by PDP and Atiku.

In the motion ex-parte dated March 4, Atiku and the PDP, applied for leave of the tribunal to allow them 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.

They equally prayed the tribunal to compel the electoral body 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.

The Applicants, through their lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, told the tribunal that the reliefs sought against INEC was for the purpose of filing and maintaining an election petition they intend to lodge against the outcome of the 2019 Presidential Election.

The motion ex-parte motion was supported with a 12 paragraphed affidavit that was deposed to by one Col. Austin Akobundu (retd) the director of Contact and Mobilization of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council.

Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the motion. Atiku who came second behind President Buhari of the APC, had earlier vowed to challenge the outcome of the presidential election in court, alleging that it was fraught with manifest irregularities.

He maintained that results collated by agents at various polling units across the federation, was at variance with what was eventually declared by INEC, in favour of Buhari.

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