In response to a request from Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the country’s president Bola Tinubu have all rejected forms EC8A (result sheets of polling units) and EC8E of a few select states.
The petitioners’ attorneys, Chris Uche and Eyitayo Jegede, pleaded with the Presidential Elections Petitions Court (PEPC) on Wednesday to allow their petitions to submit the electoral materials used in the elections of February 25 as exhibits. Still, INEC, Mr. Tinubu, and his party, the APC, rejected them strenuously.
Olamaboro, Ofu, Omala, Okehi, and Ajaokuta were the only five local governments in Kogi state that INEC could grant the petitioners’ request for permission to offer EC8A forms; permission was not granted for the other 18 local governments in the state.
In response to Mr. Abubakar’s request, INEC and the other respondents vigorously objected to the presentation of genuine certified copies of forms EC8As in the states of Abia, Bayelsa, and Ogun and form EC8Es in the states of Kaduna and Kogi.
APC attorney Lateef Fagbemi gave his consent for PDP to use documents from the chosen local governments at the tribunal after learning that INEC had approved the tendering of election materials for those mentioned above five local governments in Kogi state but withheld consent for documents from other states.
On behalf of the APC, Mr. Fagbemi stated, “We are objecting to all except the ones listed by INEC.”
The matter’s presiding justice, Haruna Tsammani, disregarded the respondents’ concerns and allowed the petitioners’ election records to be shown while approving their offer.
Wole Olanipekun represented Mr. Tinubu, while the lawyer for the electoral commission was Kemi Pinheiro.
The PDP and Labour Party presidential candidates are fiercely opposing Mr. Tinubu, the country’s new president, who took the oath of office on May 29. They claim the polls that predicted his win was seriously erroneous.
They are contesting his victory in court, which might drag out for several months.