The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has rejected most documents tendered by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, before the Presidential Election Petition Court.
The rejection followed the admissibility of document in compliance with the pre-hearing reports binding on all parties in the petition as ordered by the court.
Atiku Abubakar and the PDP would have to contend with the rejections of documents that is expected to aid their case before the petition court as all the respondents seems not to consent to the admissibility of those documents.
This is contrary to the submissions made by INEC during the pre-hearing, that they would not object to any document that’s fully certified by the commission.
At the commencement of the proceeding counsel for Atiku and PDP, Chris Uche SAN, said the team had prepared a second schedule of documents to be tendered, adding that the documents were fully served on the respondents.
Most of the documents tendered in court include INEC Certified True Copies of declaration of results, summary of results, print out of BVAS report for each polling units in the 36 states, number of PVC’s collected in 36 states including the FCT.
Part of the documents also tendered by the petitioners is the printed copy of BVAS and accreditation data with details including time stamp for 33 states.
INEC’s counsel Abubakar Mahmoud objected to all except for Kogi, Sokoto and Rivers state.
They are also not consenting to downloaded materials from the IREV portal, including the inputs of polling units cancelled and that of voters who could not vote.
However, the Petitioners counsel prayed the court to deem the documents as read pursuant to provisions of paragraph 46(A) of the first schedule of the electoral Act.
Having tendered the documents, Justice Haruna Tsammani, admitted them as evidence and then adjourned hearing to June 1, 2023.
Earlier in the day, the hearing of Peter Obi and Labour Party’s petition at the presidential election petition court was stalled as their counsel, Awa Kalu informed the court that two of their key staff at the secretariat took ill and as such the presentation of documents which was intended by the petitioners could not be achieved.
Obi and Labour Party who had 3 weeks to prove their case, now have 19 days to call 49 more witnesses, while the Atiku and the PDP are yet to call any witnesses, but have tendered all exhibits before the court.