Court grants Atiku, Obi’s request to inspect election materials

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday granted the request of Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, request to inspect the election materials used during last Saturday’s presidential poll.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that Atiku and Obi approached to Presidential Election Court to seek permission for the inspection of election materials used during last Saturday’s poll.

The PUNCH also reports that Atiku and Obi refused to concede defeat in the February 25 presidential election, vowing to recover their mandate in court.

The two candidates rebuffed the gesture of conciliation made by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, who in his acceptance speech after he was declared the winner of the poll on Wednesday, asked them to support him in the task of building the nation.

Atiku and Obi spoke at separate news conferences in Abuja on Thursday.

But the court on Friday granted both candidates’ request to have access to all the sensitive materials INEC deployed for the presidential election won by All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

The Justice Joseph Ikyegh-led panel of the appellate court, which will also sit as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, granted the request after it heard two separate ex-parte applications brought by Atiku, Obi and their political parties.

The electoral umpire, Tinubu and APC were cited as Respondents in the matter.

Both applications were predicated on Section146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 47 (1, 2 &3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022, as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

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, 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.

They maintained that the requested documents would aid their petition against the outcome of the presidential contest that was declared in favour of Tinubu.

Credit: Punch