The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23, 2019 election Atiku Abubakar and his party have asked the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) for permission to inspect materials used for the presidential election.
Atiku and the PDP also want an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow them and their agents access to the necessary materials used for the election.
Their prayers are contained in a motion ex-parte they filed before the tribunal in Abuja, in which they are seeking leave to inspect the voters register, the smart card reader machines, ballot papers and other vital documents used in the conduct of the presidential election.
They also want the tribunal to order INEC to allow their agents to scan and make photocopies of vital documents used in for the election, to enable them establish their alleged irregularities in the election.
Atiku and PDP said, in the motion filed by their lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) that the reliefs sought against INEC were for the purpose of filing and maintaining an election petition, which they are preparing to file against the outcome of this year’s presidential election.
The Director, Contact and Mobilisation, Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd) deposed to a 12 paragraph supporting affidavit filed with the motion.
INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, (APC) are listed as respondents to the motion.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the motion.
The Nation learnt on Tuesday that the motion, being one of the preliminary steps towards initiating an election petition, may not necessarily be heard in the open, but in the chambers of the tribunal.
A member of the Atiku/PDP legal team confirmed that the motion was filed to enable the team gather sufficient materials to prepare the petition they were currently working on.
The member said such a motion was one of the preliminary steps in filing election petitions.
He said, since the petition was intended to challenge the outcome of the election, it was necessary to inspect vital materials used for the election to enable the intending petitioner source sufficient materials to prepare his/her petition.
The member of the team was optimistic that his team would file the petition before the week runs out.