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Politics of Thursday, 15 June 2023


INEC tenders Tinubu’s biodata form, 36 states BVAS results

Election Petition Tribunal Election Petition Tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday tendered before the Presidential Election Petition Court, personal information supplied by President Bola Tinubu which he presented to aid his qualification for the office of the president.

The electoral umpire produced the form EC9 which contains the biodata of the president pursuant to the subpoena issued to INEC’s chairman, Yakubu Mahmoud, by the court.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the February 25 election, Atiku Abubakar, are challenging the declaration of Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as the president by INEC.

Listed as respondents in the suit are; INEC, Tinubu and his political party, the All Progressives Congress.

The petitioners on Tuesday had informed the court that Mahmoud had been summoned to appear before the court today to produce some requested documents necessary to prove their claim that Tinubu’s election is invalid.

During the resumed hearing in the matter, counsel for the LP and Atiku, Chris Uche (SAN), informed the court that the INEC boss through a deputy director of the commission, M.O Tairu, brought some of the required documents pursuant to the subpoena.

Following the notification of the court, Tairu tendered form EC8D which is a series of results for the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.

The Certified True Copies of the accredited documents from the 36 States and the FCT were produced and presented in soft copies and hard copies.

She also tendered form EC8DA which is the final declaration of the results.

Additionally, Tairu tendered before the court, accredited data from the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System with respect to Rivers State.

All the respondents objected to the admissibility of the documents including INEC.

Counsel for INEC, A.B. Mahmoud also asserted that the petitioners have yet to pay for the certification of the documents tendered.

However, Uche SAN countered the statement.

The petitioners’ lead counsel reiterated that the sum of N6.7m “has been paid to the first respondent.”

He also argued that the documents are produced upon the orders of the court.

The five-man panel of the court headed by Justice Tsammani admitted the documents in evidence and marked them as exhibits.

The court subsequently adjourned further hearing in the petition to June 16.

Court admits blurred results of 18,000 PU in Obi’s petition

Meanwhile, the PEPC on Thursday, admitted in evidence data analysis of the February 25 presidential election results and their accompanying appendices in Peter Obi’s petition against Bola Tinubu.

The court also admitted in evidence blurred results from 18,088 polling units from the results viewing portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The evidence was tendered by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Obi in the February 25 presidential election.

The LP and Obi are challenging the outcome of the election wherein Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared as the elected president by INEC.

During the resumed hearing on Thursday, counsel for the petitioners, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN conducted the proceedings on behalf of the LP and Obi.

The Senior Advocate at the start of the sitting informed the court that he intended to call to the witness box a professor of Mathematics, Eric Ofoedu, to testify before the court.

The witness was said to have been engaged a few days before the election by the 2nd petitioner, LP to carry out an analysis of the data from the February 25 election.

Admitted also in evidence were the letter addressed to Ofoedu seeking his service and the subpoena served on him to appear before the court.

The respondents in the suit namely; the Independent National Electoral Commission, Tinubu, his vice-president, Kashim Shettima, and the APC all objected to the admissibility of the documents.

Specifically, counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), objected to the admissibility of the subpoena served on the witness but gave his consent to the court to admit the letter of engagement.

They all said that the reasons for their objections will be advanced at the later stage of the petition.

Led in evidence by Ikpeazu SAN, the professor of mathematics tendered before the court, report of data analysis of the election, INEC Results Viewing scores investigation, separate data analysis of results in Rivers and Benue states.

Besides the reports which were admitted and marked by the court as exhibits PCG1 – PVG3 respectively, the court also admitted in evidence blurred polling units results from IReV in 18,088 polling units across the country.

The witness was not cross-examined by the respondents as the five-man panel of the court headed by Justice Tsammani in a brief ruling moved the cross-examination to tomorrow, June 16 following the objections by the respondents that they were just served the witness statement a few minutes before the sitting.

The petitioners also summoned Arise News Television to appear before the court in aid of their petition against Tinubu.

The witness was led in evidence by counsel to the petitioners, Patrick Ikweato SAN.

The TV station through a member of staff Lumnie Edevbie tendered in evidence a copy of a flash drive that contained a video clip showing INEC’s chairman, Yakubu Mahmoud giving a speech at Chatham’s house, in London on January 17.

In the speech, Mahmoud made a case for the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and the IRev as the commission’s biggest archive and repository of the results of the election.

The respondents objected to the admissibility of the clip but the court admitted it and marked it as one of the exhibits in the petition.

At the end of their allotted time, the court adjourned to June 16, the continuation of the hearing in the petition by LP and Obi.