The Court of Appeal, sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Court, today granted leave to Mr. Peter Obi and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to inspect sensitive materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct last Saturday’s presidential election.
The duo had brought applications seeking an order of the court to inspect materials used for the conduct of the election.
A panel of the appellate court led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh made the orders after it heard two separate ex-parte applications the two aggrieved presidential candidates filed alongside their political parties.
Listed as respondents in the election petition cases were INEC, the acclaimed winner of the presidential election, Bola Tinubu, as well as his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The applications were brought pursuant to Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 146 of the Electoral Act 2022, paragraphs 47(1) and 54 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022, and under the inherent power of the tribunal.
While Obi, in his application that was moved by his team of lawyers led by Mr. Alex Ejesieme (SAN), sought six principal reliefs, Atiku’s lawyer, Mr. Adedamola Faloku, sought seven prayers from the tribunal.
Specifically, the applicants urged the court to compel INEC to allow them to obtain documents in its custody that were used for the presidential election.
According to VANGAURD, the duo maintained that the requested documents would aid their petition against the outcome of the presidential contest that was declared in favour of the APC presidential candidate.
Specifically, Obi sought among other reliefs “AN ORDER granting leave to the Applicants to bring this Application outside or before the Pre-Hearing Session.”
CITY LAWYER recalls that INEC had last Wednesday declared Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, as winner of the keenly contested election. According to INEC, Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku who polled 6,984,520 votes and Obi who polled 6,101,533 votes.
Obi and Abubakar promptly rejected the results, vowing to challenge it in court.