The inspection still continues to inspect election materials, as the the court of Appeal yesterday has finally grant leave to the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi, respectively, to inspect documents used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.
The permission granted by the court of Appeal was sequel to two separate ex-parte applications filed by Abubakar and Obi, who came second and third respectively in the presidential election won by Senator Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Abubakar and Obi are alleging substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 in addition to violence and rigging, which they claimed marred the conduct and outcome of the election.
They had at separate media briefing last Thursday in Abuja vowed to ventilate their grievances at the court.
The electoral umpire, Tinubu and APC were cited as respondents in the matter.
Atiku’s lawyer, Adedamola Faloku, in arguing the motion, prayed the court to grant the ex-parte application brought before it pursuant to Section 146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 47 (1, 2 &3) of the first Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution.
The application, which was predicated on six grounds, sought for seven reliefs. A schedule of the documents to interrogate the respondent (INEC) was also contained in the application supported by a 12-paragraph affidavit.
Counsel to the applicant adopted all the averments contained in the affidavit and urged the court to grant the application.
In the other application, Obi’s lawyer, Mr. Alex Ejeseme (SAN), also prayed the appellate court to grant the reliefs sought in the motion ex-parte in the interest of justice.
He stated that the motion was brought pursuant to Section 86 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, Section 146 of the Electoral Act 2022 and paragraphs 47 (1 and 54) of the first Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022 under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court.
Ejeseme also informed the Court that they had deposed a 15-paragraph affidavit and were relying on all the averments therein in urging the court to grant the application.
After listening to the applicants, the presiding judge, Justice Joseph Ikyegh, subsequently granted the request of the two applicants.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had declared Tinubu winner of the election, saying he secured majority of votes cast and also met the constitutional benchmark of scoring 25 per cent in two thirds of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.