The allegations made by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, suggest that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refused to provide the requested documents.
Obi and the LP are the petitioners in case CA/PEPC/03/2023, which challenges the election of President Bola Tinubu. The respondents in the case include INEC President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
During the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Court, the LP and Obi expressed their inability to proceed with the case due to INEC’s refusal to provide the requested documents.
Mr. Jubrin Okutepa, the LP’s counsel, informed the court that none of the documents requested from INEC were provided. Seeking intervention, he stated they had exhausted all possible efforts to obtain the records.
He further revealed that INEC had released a few IreV reports from Lagos and Gombe that had been certified since May 29. Despite numerous letters requesting the necessary documents to support their petition, the LP claimed they had paid for most of them but had yet to receive them.
Additionally, Okutepa suggested that INEC deliberately delayed the proceedings. However, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, INEC’s counsel, informed the court that they had received a letter dated May 15 from the petitioners but have yet to receive further correspondence.
He insisted that INEC had provided all the documents requested by the witnesses under subpoena and had not denied the petitioners any documents.
Mr. Wole Olanipakun, SAN, counsel for Tinubu and Shettima, assured the court that a meeting between senior counsels would address the issues raised. The court urged the parties to reach a mutual understanding to ensure smooth proceedings as they had initially pledged to cooperate.
The petitioners proceeded with the testimony of their seventh witness (PW 7), Loretta Ogah, an architect from Amazon Web Services Incorporated (AWS). However, the respondents objected when the witness’s statement on oath was being adopted.
Mahmoud stated they had just been served with the documents and would need time to review them before cross-examining the witness. Olanipakun objected to adopting the witness statement but clarified that they did not oppose the witness continuing her testimony.
The petitioners presented the witness’s employment letter from Amazon and her resumé, which were admitted as evidence. Additionally, six reports indicating the health status of AWS dashboard cloud services in 33 regions and compliance certificates were also admitted.
The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned the proceedings until Tuesday to allow for the cross-examination of the witness and further deliberation on the petition.