The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has rejected the majority of documents presented before the Presidential Election Petition Court by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The rejection followed the admissibility of the material in accordance with the court-ordered pre-hearing reports binding on all parties in the case.
Atiku Abubakar and the PDP will have to deal with the rejection of papers that was supposed to help their case before the petition court, as all of the respondents appeared to be opposed to their admissibility.
This contradicts INEC’s comments during the pre-hearing, which stated that they would not object to any document completely certified by the commission.
Chris Uche SAN, counsel for Atiku and the PDP, stated at the start of the case that the team had prepared a second schedule of documents to be tendered, adding that the documents had been fully served on the respondents.
According to AIT, the majority of the documents presented in court include INEC Certified True Copies of the Declaration of Results, a summary of the results, a printout of the BVAS report for each polling unit in the 36 states, and the number of PVCs collected in the 36 states, including the FCT.
The petitioners also submitted a printed copy of BVAS and accreditation data with information including timestamps for 33 states.
Except for Kogi, Sokoto, and Rivers states, INEC’s lawyer Abubakar Mahmoud objected to all.
The commission also refused to accept downloaded information from the IREV portal, such as the inputs of polling stations that were canceled and voters who were unable to vote.
However, the petitioners’ counsel requested that the documents be deemed read in accordance with the terms of paragraph 46(A) of the first schedule of the Electoral Act.
After the documents were produced, Justice Haruna Tsammani acknowledged them as evidence and adjourned the hearing to June 1, 2023.
Earlier in the day, the hearing of Peter Obi and the Labour Party’s petition at the presidential election petition court was halted after their counsel, Awa Kalu, informed the court that two of their key staff at the secretariat became ill, preventing the petitioners from presenting documents.
Obi and the Labour Party now have 19 days to call 49 more witnesses to support their case, while Atiku and the PDP have yet to call any witnesses but have tendered all exhibits to the court