Mon, 4 Dec 2023


2023 Presidential Election: INEC kicks as LP tenders 18,000 blurred IReV sheets
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 15 Jun 2023   ||   Nigeria,

The Labour Party (LP) tendered 18,000 blurred polling units results of the presidential election before the tribunal on Thursday.

Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the LP and the party, had challenged the process of the election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced President Bola Tinubu as winner.

Respondents in the suit are INEC, Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Onyechi Ikpeazu, counsel for the petitioners, tendered reports of data analyses from the presidential election through Eric Ofoedu, a professor of mathematics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and a witness for the LP.

According to Ikpeazu, the documents also contained investigations of IReV score sheets from Rivers and Benue states.

The petitioners also tendered 18,000 polling units blurred results obtained from the IReV portal.

However, Abubakar Mahmoud, lead counsel for INEC, objected to the admissibility of the documents.

Mahmoud described the situation as an ambush, adding that the LP had only handed over a copy of the witness’ statement a few hours before commencement of proceedings.

“To be honest, I and my team are handicapped and do not know how to proceed. It is an ambush,” he said.

“I thought that the counsel, in the spirit of cooperation and also in line with the rules of the court, would have presented the statement earlier. It should have been served in time to avoid this ambush.”

Mahmood prayed the court to compel the LP to grant the INEC legal team 48 hours to review the tendered documents.

Although Wole Olanipakun, counsel for Tinubu and Shettima both objected to the witness statement, they agreed to take the witness in chief and proposed a later time for the cross-examination.

Lumnie Edevbie, a journalist from Arise news TV, was also called as the LP’s witness and was taken in evidence by Patrick Ikweato, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on the party’s legal team.

The witness tendered a video statement made by Yakubu Mahmood, INEC chairman at the Chatham House, London on January 17, where he gave an assurance of the authenticity and effectiveness of the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS).

All respondents objected to the adoption of the statement of the witness and the viewing of the video.

The five-man panel led by Haruna Tsammani adjourned the session until Thursday for the cross examination of the witness and further hearing of the petition.


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