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LP, PDP reject APC’s request to jointly inspect election materials

 


Lawyers of the Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have turned down a request by the lead counsel of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to jointly inspect election materials.

 

The request was made during an administrative meeting at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

 

Representatives of the LP, PDP, and APC were present at the meeting.

 

Tanimu Inuwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), represented the electoral body.

 

On March 1, INEC declared Bola Tinubu, candidate of the APC, as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.

 

But Peter Obi, the LP standard bearer, and Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP, are challenging the outcome of the election in court.

 

They also asked the court to grant them permission to inspect sensitive materials used by the INEC in the conduct of the election.

 

Upon request, the court also granted Tinubu permission to inspect INEC materials to defend his election.

 

In the report of the administrative meeting seen by TheCable, Inuwa said INEC currently has a summary of the results of each state and the FCT as well as a national summary.

 

However, he said the result sheets and ballot papers are in the various states, not at the INEC headquarters.

 

He also suggested that a timeline for visitation for all parties should be made for ease and the persons appointed to inspect should be limited.

 

Inuwa said the BVAS and backend report of over 11,000 pages were being finalised, adding that the certified true copies and photocopies of the document will be made available.

 

Responding, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, a SAN representing the PDP, requested that the inspection begins on Tuesday (today) given the timeline.

 

Gadzama said representatives of the PDP in various states have gone to the INEC offices for inspection but were denied access because the headquarters had not given the go-ahead.

 

He said in addition to the documents already requested by the party, it would need the report of the offline and online logs and server from February 24 and March 1, including the phone numbers used on each BVAS.

 

 ‘ALL PARTIES SHOULD INSPECT TOGETHER’

 

Babatunde Ogala, the SAN representing APC, said “all parties should henceforth inspect the documents together in the spirit of transparency and a joint committee of all parties should be made to come up with a schedule for the inspection”.

 

In reaction, Livy Uzochukwu, the SAN representing LP, said the opposition parties petitioned while the APC is the respondent.

 

“Hence the timelines are different and petitioners should be treated with priority,” the SAN said.

 

Gadzama further said LP and PDP have a lot in common, adding that “we have more challenges than APC”.

 

At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that PDP and APC can commence inspection immediately while LP having started inspection will continue from where it left off.

 

 

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