A staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abedemi Joseph on Friday told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that they were instructed by INEC, their employer, not to give copies of election results to political party agents who declined to sign the results.
The witness made the revelation while testifying in a petition filed by a former vice president of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Led in evidence-in-chief by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, Joseph prayed the court to adopt her witness statement on oath as her evidence in the petition against the victory of Tinubu.
Joseph, who was a presiding officer in Niger state during the February 25 presidential elections, told the court that she was satisfied with the process as instructed.
She, however, said that they had instructions not to give out the results of the election to party agents who did not sign the result sheet.
Also testifying, a presiding agent in Edo state during the election told the court that she tried in vain to upload the presidential election results to the INEC server.
While another subpoena witness from Kogi state, Grace Ajagbonna also affirmed the peaceful conduct of the election she said she was not happy that she could not upload the presidential election as instructed.
Ajagbonna, responding to INEC counsel as to whether she was happy with the conduct of the election and her work as presiding officer, said, “I was not happy that I was unable to transmit the result to the server.”
However, INEC, represented by Abubakar Mahmoud; APC, represented by Lateef Fagbemi, and other respondents objected to the use of statements made on oath by the subpoenaed witnesses to be tendered at PEPC in aid of Atiku’s petition.
Atiku’s lawyer, Chris Uche urged the court to discountance their objections and grant their request.
The five-man panel headed by Justice, Haruna Tsammani reserved a ruling on the applications.
Meanwhile, a hearing in the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against Tinubu’s election could not hold on Friday owing to the inability of the petitioner to obtain the Supreme Court judgement in a suit filed by the PDP against Tinubu over the double nomination of the Vice-president, Senator Kashim Shettima.
When the petition was called, counsel to the APM, Yakubu Maikasuwa informed the court that the petitioner has not been able to lay hand on the said judgement referred to by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to Tinubu and Shetimma.
Maikasuwa consequently asked for an adjournment to enable the petitioner to obtain a copy of the judgement from the apex court.
Following a no objection by respondents in the petition, the court adjourned further hearing in the petition till June 19, 2023.
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