Tribunal dismisses APC’s application stopping PDP from inspecting election materials

The FCT National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed an application by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to set aside an order granting leave to Mr Micah Jiba, to inspect election materials.

The tribunal gave the order on March 21, granting leave to Jiba to inspect the electoral documents including card readers used in the Feb. 23 election.

The APC and its candidate, Mr Amanda Pam, are challenging the outcome of the election in court.

The respondents in the matter are REC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Jiba, the winner of the election.

Delivering ruling, the Chairman of the three-member tribunal, Justice O.A Ezeoke, declared that the application lacked merit and dismissed it.

Ezeoke noted that the petitioners’ motion was not within the provisions of Sections 151 of the Electoral Act.

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He held that the section empowers the tribunal to make such order and the petitioners and Respondents were expected to abide by it.

The chairman said APC and its candidate failed to bring their motion within the stipulated time by law.

The petitioners had filed a motion urging the tribunal to set aside the order, granting leave to the first respondent to inspect the electoral documents including the card readers and even obtaining information them.

The chairman had informed parties that the petitioners have 14 days within which to prove their case while the respondents will each take 10 days to respond to the petition.

Counsel for the petitioners, Chika Egocha informed the court that the petitioners will be calling 77witnesses to prove their case while Michel Numa, counsel to Jiba, said they intend to call 41 witness.

Counsel to PDP, Ade Dabola informed the tribunal that he will be calling 10 witnesses and counsel to INEC and REC, Mr Musa Attah said they will be calling only 15 witnesses.

The tribunal adjourned until May, 10 for pre-trial report and May 22,23 and 24 for the commencement of hearing in the petition

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