Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has withdrawn an application against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over election materials.

Atiku and his party, PDP both withdrew their separate applications on Wednesday at the court of appeal in Abuja before the presidential election tribunal.

The application sought to compel INEC to allow their agents to participate in the process of sorting out ballot papers that were used for the February 25 presidential election.

Why the withdrawal: in a notice of Discontinuance, Atiku through his lawyer Joe Kyari Gadzama told the panel that his client seeks to discontinue the application.

He said the application was filed because INEC had refused them access to the election materials after the court’s order, However, after a meeting with the commission on Tuesday, they promised to grant them access to the materials even ballot papers.

Hence, they have deemed it fit to discontinue the application. He said:

  • However, before the application which was dated March 13 could be slated for hearing, INEC, on its own, called our legal team for a meeting.
  • “It was at that meeting held yesterday (Tuesday) that all the grey areas were sorted out, with INEC pledging to allow our agents to observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials we requested, especially the ballot papers.
  • “Since that was primarily our prayer in the fresh application we filed, we felt that it would not be necessary to proceed with the hearing. So, to save judicial time, we filed a notice of discontinuance which was accordingly granted.”

The backstory: Dissatisfied with the outcome of the presidential election, Atiku approached the court of appeal seeking permission for the inspection of election materials used during the presidential election.

Respondents in the suit are INEC, Tinubu and the All Progressive Congress (APC). He sought seven reliefs from the tribunal.

He urged the court to compel INEC to allow him access to sensitive materials used during the presidential election.

He argued that the documents will aid his petition against the outcome of the presidential poll which produced Bola Tinubu.

The application was brought pursuant to Section 146 (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.

The Appellate court in its decision granted his request and ordered INEC to allow him access to inspect the materials.