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Whereas the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, prayed the Presidential tribunal to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant them access to inspect the commission’s server, forensic analysts have hinted that the highly expected ruling on the prayer will serve as lead pivot to the entire legal fireworks that will trail the tribunal.
Added to the above prayer, is an approval permitting both PDP and its candidate to inspect other electronic gadgets used by INEC in the February 23 presidential election.
Giving an insight on the proceedings at the Presidential Election Tribunal in a telephone interview Thursday, legal practitioner, Mr. Biodun Orioye, said “Considering that the major point of appeal to the presidential election results in the view of the PDP had been possible breaches at the INEC server which INEC itself had consistently denied, the expexted ruling will redefine the entire trial trajectory.”
“Therefore, the ruling on the PDP’s application to access the server will play a very big role in situating the lead petition of the PDP and its presidential candidate,” Orioye averred.
In his remarks, lead counsel for PDP, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, averred that “We are asking for access to the server because there are clear evidences that INEC ran a server during the election for election results database,” but INEC lead counsel in his media interview queried if it is possible for a man without a wife to show you wife?
Recall that in the petition filed by both PDP and Atiku before the tribunal, they claim that they won the February 23 presidential election in view of the results fed the INEC’s server, a claim the electoral umpire has consistently faulted.
The PDP, aside other evidences in its petition armory, had shown and made it clear that INEC had in preparation of the election advertised for the job of e-collation officers who are to transmit results electronically, as soon as results are declared at polling centres and collation centres to the server directly.
However, INEC had consistently claimed that all results were transmitted manually and there is no need for e-collation even though it did not deny having advertised and recruited e-collation officers ahead of the general election.
Though the Presidential Tribunal chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba had reserved ruling on the PDP prayers, legal and political pundits say the outcome of the expected ruling will largely determine the true weight of PDP petition as furthering the proceedings by PDP will depend on it.
The key ground of PDP prayers opposition by the counsels to both APC and INEC was that the court had in March ruled on similar prayers to access electoral materials hence there is no need to ask for what it had earlier asked for that was ruled upon.
However, the PDP lead counsel disagreed pointing out the latest request was solely for access to the INEC server and not all materials used for the presidential election.
The matter was adjourned to 24th of June, 2019 for further hearing and possible ruling on applications.
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