As instructed by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, the attorneys for Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi started inspecting the election materials used for the February 25 presidential election on Monday.
The legal representatives of the LP, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC) met with those of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Recall that the Court of Appeal in Abuja granted the requests of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect of the APC, LP’s Obi, and PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to inspect the election materials used during the presidential election.
The lawyers for the three parties reported yesterday to INEC that the LP’s team started the inspection on Monday.
Speaking on behalf of INEC’s lawyers, Tanimu Inuwa, SAN, said the commission had forms Ec8d (summary of results) of each state and FCT, Ec8da (national summary) and Ec8a.
He said the BVAS and backend report of over 11,000 pages was being finalized and that the result sheets and ballot papers were in the various states, not at the INEC headquarters.
He suggested that a timeline for visitation for all parties be made for ease and the persons appointed to inspect be limited.
He said the CTCs and photocopies of the document would be made available.
Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, representing the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said his team would also commence the inspection of election materials today.
He said representatives of PDP in various states had gone to the INEC offices for inspection but were denied access because the headquarters had not given the go-ahead.
He said the PDP, in addition to the documents requested, would need the report of the offline and online logs and server from February 25 to March 1 and the phone numbers used on each BVAS.
On his part, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, representing the APC, said all parties should henceforth inspect the documents together in the spirit of transparency and a joint committee of all parties should be made to come up with a schedule for the inspection.
But LP’s Livy Uzochukwu, SAN said the LP and the PDP petitioned, while APC was responding, hence the timelines were different and the petitioners should be treated with priority.
Gadzama said the LP and the PDP had a lot in common and had more challenges than the APC.
He also said that limiting the number of people allowed to inspect was not realistic because of the burden placed on the petitioners.
He demanded that a message be sent to the INEC in various states to allow inspection.
The meeting agreed that the PDP and the APC could commence inspection immediately; while the LP, having started the inspection, would continue from where it left off.