The president-elect and the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant him access to sensitive materials it used for the presidential election.

At the court session on Tuesday, Tinubu, through his lawyer, Mr Akintola Makinde, said he would need to inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the electoral materials to enable him to prepare his defence against petitions that would seek to nullify his election.

Ex-parte application filed against Labour party, PDP

The first ex-parte application by Tinubu, which was filed on March 6, has the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi as respondents, while the second application has the Peoples Democratic Party, and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as respondents, alongside INEC

  • Makinde also said, “The materials will be relevant in helping us to prepare our defence and also make comparison with the information contained in INEC’s back-end server.

The appellate court sitting as the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal will on Wednesday rule on Tinubu’s application.

For catch up

  • Recall that on March 1, 2023, INEC declared the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
  • The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in his pronouncement said that the former Lagos state governor polled a total vote of  8,794,726 to defeat his closest rival and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, who scored  6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of Labour party who polled 6,101,533 votes.
  • The presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso came a distant fourth with total votes of 1,496,687 votes.
  • However, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, in separate press conferences rejected the results of the election and the collation process, saying that they won the election. They have both headed to the court to seek redress.
  • In a related development, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, had on Friday, March 3, granted the request of PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, request to inspect the election materials used during last Saturday’s presidential poll.
  • The court granted both candidates’ requests to have access to all the sensitive materials INEC deployed for the presidential election won by APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
  • The Justice Joseph Ikyegh-led panel of the appellate court, which will also sit as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, granted the request after it heard 2 separate ex-parte applications brought by Atiku, Obi and their political parties.
  • The electoral umpire, Tinubu and APC were cited as Respondents in the matter.
  • Both applications were predicated on Section146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 47 (1, 2 &3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022, as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.