The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday, June 6, protested against the request made by Labour Party (LP), and it’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi to tender exhibits from 17 states challenging the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC).
As reported by the Leadership Newspaper, the exhibits were mainly Forms EC8B used by INEC in collating results at the ward levels during the February 25 presidential election.
Obi’s lawyer, Benbella Anachebe (SAN), explained that the exhibits were obtained and duly certified by INEC before releasing them to his clients.
While opposing Obi’s request to tender exhibits, INEC’s lawyer, Steve Adehi, asked the court to give a rationale for his objections at the address stage of the proceedings.
The reasons for the objections are to be reserved at the address stage of the hearing of the petition, in accordance with the pre-hearing report and agreements of counsel.
The 17 states where Obi’s exhibits are from
Obi’s exhibits that were tendered and admitted in the following states: Adamawa, Bayelsa, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Sokoto, Delta, and Ekiti.
The other states are Imo, Kaduna, Oyo, Cross River, Edo, Akwa Ibom, and Lagos.
The Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani led the panel, however, ruled out the exhibits from Ebonyi state on the grounds that INEC was yet to make the exhibits available to the two petitioners.
Tsammani adjourned further hearing in the petition till June 7.
This afternoon, in reaction to the development, Kenneth Okonkwo tweeted
“We are back in court today to continue our petition at the Presidential Election Petition Court (COA).”
He asserted with certainty that Professor Yakubu Mahmood’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had shattered the record for the worst electoral commission on Earth.
“How can INEC stand up in court and say, ‘My Lord, I object to the tendering of INEC’S certified true copies of the election results.’” Okonkwo queried.
Kenneth Okonkwo continued by saying that the institution is becoming an international embarrassment for the nation and that he had never seen an organization that, by law, should be neutral on all grounds, blatantly object to its documents to appease certain political constituencies.