Atiku requesting for server that does not exist, INEC to tribunal


By Shola Abayomi.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has maintained the non-existence of an electronic server being sought to be accessed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar.

The petitioners, Atiku and the PDP, through their lead counsel, Livy Ozoukwu, filed an application on May 8, seeking an order of the tribunal permitting them to access and inspect the INEC’s server which they alleged had authentic data containing “the true, actual and correct results” of the presidential election, which showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.

However, the respondents to the petition (INEC, Buhari and the APC) today, asked the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel to dismiss the petitioners’ request.

INEC through its lead counsel, Mr. Yunus Usman (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the application, adding that the application by the petitioners amounted to asking the commission to produce what it did not have.

He said, “We attached as Exhibit 1, the enrolled order of this honourable court made on May 6, 2019 refusing all the prayers of the petitioners in this application.

“They said we should bring what we don’t have.”

A senior member of the PDP and Atiku’s legal team, Chris Uche (SAN), further urged the tribunal to grant the application in the interest of justice, transparency and neutrality.

He said, “The application in summary asks for access to and inspection of the server of the INEC and the smart card readers used in the conduct of the presidential election.

“We have addressed the issues in our counter-affidavit, written address and reply on points of law and we urge your lordships that the application be granted as prayed in the interest of justice, transparency and neutrality.

“The application is necessary for the maintenance of this petition.”

Nonetheless, the leader of Buhari’s legal team, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), prayed the tribunal to dismiss the application.

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