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Politics of Wednesday, 7 June 2023


Election tribunal: Obi tenders exhibits from 17 states

Peter Obi in court Peter Obi in court

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on Tuesday, tendered in evidence the first batch of forms used in the collation of their results at the ward level for the February 25 presidential election.

The documents, known as form EC8B, were presented as part of the evidence by the LP and Obi in support of their petition, challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the poll.

The 1st to 4th respondents in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Tinubu, the vice-president, Kassim Shettima and the APC.

The respondents, through their legal representatives, all objected to the admissibility of the INEC-certified documents tendered by LP and Obi.

The opposing parties said they would advance reasons behind their objections at the final address stage of the petition.

Notwithstanding the objection by the respondents, the court admitted the forms in evidence and marked them as exhibits.

The forms EC8B, tendered through Obi’s legal team, led by Ben Achebe (SAN), were from Adamawa, Bayelsa, Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa, Niger, Ondo, Sokoto, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Oyo, Cross River, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Lagos states.

Among other forms EC8B that they tendered before the court were the forms from 11 local government areas of Nassarawa; 25 LGAs of Delta, 25 LGAs of Imo, 11 LGAs of Ekiti, 21 LGAs of Kaduna, 8 LGAs of Bayelsa and 18 LGAs of Ondo states, I6 LGAs of Edo, 20 LGAs of Lagos, 21 LGAs of Kogi, and 31 LGAs of Akwa Ibom.

After the five-man panel of the PEPC headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani admitted the bundle of documents from the 17 states and marked them as exhibits, it adjourned further hearing in the petitions till Wednesday (today).

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, who are also challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll, alleged on Tuesday that INEC was denying them access to some requested documents.

Counsel for Atiku, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), blamed the electoral body for the alleged deliberate refusal to supply his client with vital documents.

He sought a 24-hour adjournment to enable him to approach the electoral body to do the needful.

Consequently, the panel adjourned the matter till Wednesday (today).