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Tribunal: INEC Complies with Ruling, Releases Election Materials to NNPP



Tribunal: INEC Complies with Ruling, Releases Election Materials to NNPP

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ogun State has complied with the directive of the state governorship and House of Assembly Petition Tribunal, ordering it to allow the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) access to all election materials used for the conduct of the March 18 elections. NaijaNews reports

INEC gave access to the lead counsel to the party and its gubernatorial candidate, Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, and Izunya Isaac Dale, to inspect, photocopy, scan, pay for, and obtain certified true copies of all the documents used in the conduct of the governorship election.

The three-man tribunal, comprising Justice Arum Igyem Ashom, Justice Eno Ikpi Ebri, and Justice Khadi Ibrahim Ya’u, unanimously gave the directive while ruling on an ex parte motion brought by Dale to allow the party to inspect the materials in the custody of INEC.

The counsel then approached INEC through a letter dated April 5, 2023, addressed to the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner and titled “Application to inspect and obtain certified copies of electoral materials used in the conduct of the Ogun State Governorship Election.”

The letter read in part, “We wish to bring to your notice that our client was graciously granted an order by the Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting in Abeokuta, on the 24th day of March 2023 to inspect and obtain the CTC of electoral materials used in the conduct of the Ogun State Governorship election. The said order is hereby attached for your kind consideration.

“Pursuant to the above order, we hereby apply for certification through copies of the following documents: All INEC results sheets (ECB series); EC8 A, EC8 B, ECBC, EC8D, and EC8E; certificate of return of the two respondents; copies of ballot papers used in the election.”

The electoral body on Thursday then yielded to the request and allowed Dale to inspect all the materials and make a photocopy of all the materials requested.


Breaking: PEPC Rejects Request for Live Coverage of Petitions




Breaking: PEPC Rejects Request for Live Coverage of Petitions


The Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, rejected request to allow its day-to-day proceedings on petitions seeking to nullify the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, to be televised.


NaijaNews reports that the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five member panel dismissed as lacking in merit, the application which was brought before it by the two major candidates that are challenging the outcome of the presidential election that held on February 25.


The court held that no regulatory framework or policy direction, permitted it to grant such application.


It held that allowing cameras in the court room is a major judicial policy that must be supported by the law.


“The court can only be guided and act in accordance with the practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeal.


“We cannot permit a situation that may lead to dramatization of our proceedings,” Justice Tsammani held.


Besides, the court held that the request was not part of any relief in the petitions before it, saying it was merely hinged on sentimental claim that it would benefit the electorates.


It maintained that the petitioners failed to establish how televising the proceedings would advance their case, adding that such live broadcast would not have any utilitarian value to add to the determination of the petitions.


Whereas it was a former Vice President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the election, that initially made the request for a live coverage, subsequently, candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, threw his weight behind the demand for live broadcast of proceedings of the court on the petitions.


The duo, through their lead lawyers, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, and Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, maintained that petitions they lodged to query the declaration of the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as winner of the election, was “a matter of monumental national concern and public interest”.


They argued that the case involved the interest of citizens and electorates in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who he said voted and participated in the presidential poll.


Atiku and the PDP insisted that their case against Tinubu, being a unique electoral dispute with a peculiar constitutional dimension, they said it was a matter of public interest in which millions of Nigerian citizens and voters are stakeholders, with the constitutional right to be part of the proceedings.


They specifically applied for; “An order, directing the Court’s Registry and the parties on modalities for admission of Media Practitioners and their Equipments into the courtroom”.


“With the huge and tremendous technological advances and developments in Nigeria and beyond, including the current trend by this Honourable Court towards embracing electronic procedures, virtual hearing and electronic filing, a departure from the Rules to allow a regulated televising of the proceedings in this matter is in consonance with the maxim that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.

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Obi accuses INEC of non-compliance with court order on BVAS




Peter Obi calls for calm after being spotted at Asaba Airport on Tuesday after Saturday’s presidential election

Obi accuses INEC of non-compliance with court order on BVAS


LABOUR Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of failing to comply with a court order which granted the party permission to audit the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used in the 2023 presidential election.



NaijaNews reports that the Court of Appeal had in March granted an order permitting Obi and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, to inspect the BVAS machines and other sensitive electoral materials used for the election.


Obi and Atiku had requested access to the electoral materials preparatory to filing their petitions to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election in court.


Apart from granting them access to the materials, the court had, in its ruling delivered on March 3, also restrained INEC from tampering with the BVAS machines pending the inspection to be conducted by the candidates.


But INEC subsequently filed an ex parte application on March 4 urging the Court of Appeal to vary the ex parte order made in favour of the PDP and the LP candidates.


INEC’s request was granted after it assured the court that the data for the presidential election won’t be tempered with despite the reconfiguration.


However, Obi alleged through a member of is legal team, Awa Kalu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), during resumed hearing at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on May 20, that the order of the Appeal Court has not been fully complied with.


“My lords, we still have a few hiccups at INEC because of the order that was made by this court on March 8, directing them to allow us to carry out a forensic examination of the BVAS. They have not allowed us.


“We are also waiting for some documents we requested from them,” he said.


Obi demands 7 weeks to present 50 witnesses to prove his petition


Obi, through his lawyers, also told the court that he had prepared 50 witnesses who would testify and present evidence to support his claim that the 2023 presidential election was rigged against him.


He requested a period of seven weeks to present his case before the court, citing “a few hiccups” encountered at INEC.


Kalu informed the court that both parties had agreed to allocate 30 minutes for star witnesses to present their evidence-in-chief, with an additional 20 minutes for cross-examination and five minutes for re-examination.


However, INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmood, SAN, stated that the electoral body had not reached any agreement with Obi or the LP regarding the allocated time for witnesses.


Mahmood also denied any knowledge of the hiccups mentioned by the petitioners, expressing his willingness to assist if any difficulties arose.


The lawyer said INEC, as the first respondent, would require three days to present its two witnesses.


In his response, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, through his lawyer, Roland Otaru, SAN, told the court that he would call 21 witnesses, excluding expert witnesses, over a period of nine days to defend his victory in the election.


Similarly, the APC’s counsel, Niyi Akintola, SAN, said the party would present seven witnesses, excluding those to be subpoenaed, within a nine-day timeframe.


All respondents requested a 48-hour notice before any expert witnesses would testify in the case.


Obi’s petition
Obi and the LP argued in their petition that at the time Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima, became the vice presidential candidate, he was still nominated as the APC candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial election.


They also challenged Tinubu’s eligibility, alleging that he was previously indicted and fined $460,000.00 by a United States District Court for an offense involving dishonesty and drug trafficking.


Obi, who came third according to results announced by INEC, claimed that the election was invalid due to corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.


He argued that INEC breached its own regulations and guidelines by not prescribing and deploying technological devices for voter accreditation, verification, continuation, and authentication as required.


The petitioner sought a declaration from the court that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election and that all votes recorded for him were wasted.


He also requested the court to determine that he received a majority of lawful votes and satisfied constitutional requirements to be declared the winner.



In the alternative, he called for the cancellation of the election and the conduct of a fresh election in which Tinubu, Shettima, and the APC would not participate.

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25% Saga: Court Asked to Extend Buhari’ s Tenure, Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration




25% Saga: Court Asked to Extend Buhari’ s Tenure, Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has been asked to bar the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, from swearing in the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on May 29 pending the determination of whether it is compulsory for the winner in a presidential election to get 25% of votes in the FCT. NaijaNews reports.

The suit was filed by Messrs. Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffery Ucheh, Osang Paul, and Chibuike Nwachukwu.

Describing themselves as registered voters of the FCT, Abuja, they alleged it was unconstitutional for Tinubu to be declared the winner of the February 25 election despite failing to score 25 percent of the votes in the FCT.

The relief sought includes:
“A declaration that no state of the country is at the same time the FCT for any proposal whatsoever, including, in particular, under Section 134 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country may validly be declared elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without that candidate obtaining at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT, Abuja.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election may validly be sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without such candidate having obtained 25% of the votes in the FCT, Abuja.

“A declaration that following the February 25 presidential election and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and sworn in, the term of office of his Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subsists and endures in accordance with the provisions of Section 135 (1) (a) of the Constitution”.

“An order setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or issuance of a Certificate of Return to any candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country as having been elected, save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated in Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution.”

This is the second suit against Tinubu’s swearing-in.

There is a pending suit at the Court of Appeal seeking orders barring the scheduled swearing-in.

These suits were filed despite the inauguration of the Presidential Election Petitions Court to preside over the fallout of the 2023 presidential poll.

The FCT question also forms the major ground in the petitions of the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party against Tinubu and INEC.

The Tribunal is vested with jurisdiction in post-election-related cases.

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