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INEC deliberately frustrating the proceedings, Obi tells Court

…Laments Commission withholds vital documents


Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate in the February 25 general elections, Peter Obi on Monday, have alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) appears to be deliberately frustrating the proceedings.


At the resumed hearing of the petition challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as winner of the said election, counsel to the petitioners, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) informed the court of their inability to get documents they required in their case from the electoral body in spite of the several letters written to that effect.

“This segment is to formally bring to the notice of the court, the excruciating experience we are having from INEC.

“We have done everything humanly possible, including persuasion and letter writing. We decide to seek the help of the court”, Okutepa said.

He added that the electoral body released only a few documents to the petitioners on Monday afternoon adding that the petitioners received a few copies of I-ReV reports from a few Local Government Areas of Lagos that were certified on May 29 by INEC which refused to make them available to the petitioners.

“We have consistently written letters to INEC, including the one I wrote personally on May 20 detailing all the documents we wanted”, Okutepa said and told the court that INEC refused service of subpoena from the bailiff of the court.

“This proceeding is time-bound. We have paid for the documents and INEC is supposed to give us the documents that we need. We are crying to your Lordship as we have nowhere to run to. It appears that INEC is deliberately frustrating the proceedings,” Okutepa told the court.

Counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) disagreed with the submissions of the counsel to the petitioners, adding that petitioners’ counsel did not discuss any issue with him before the commencement of the Monday proceedings.

He said, there is no reason to deny Labour Party any document, saying, there are procedures for obtaining documents from INEC.

“They didn’t want to follow the procedures. Am taken aback with the submissions of Okutepa. We can’t sit here and be hearing lamentation that is unfounded”, he said and noted that he had replied to the letter written to him by the lead counsel to the petitioners, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN).

Led in evidence by Counsel to the petitioners, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), the 7th witness, Mpeh Clarita Ogar, a cloud engineer and architect, currently working with Amazon Web Services Incorporated, adopted her witness statement on oath deposed to on June 19 at the registry of the court.

A copy of resume of the witness, an appointment letter to the witness by Amazon Web Services Incorporated and six volumes reports of the 33 regions where Amazon Web Services hosts their servers.

According to Ikwueto, the report of the health status of the AWS cloud services in the region showed that there was no technical glitches on February 25, 2023.

The court however admitted the documents as exhibits, despite objections to their admissibility by INEC. Tinubu and APC, who are respondents in the petition marked, CA/PEPC/03/2023.

Justice Haruna Tsammani led five-member panel of Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja adjourned till Tuesday, June 20 for cross-examination of the 7th petitioners’ witness and continuation of hearing.

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