INEC frustrating our case, petitioners cry out
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has summoned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Zamfara State, to appear before it on Thursday. The order followed a subpoena the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, secured from the Justice Mohammed Garba led five-member panel tribunal.
The petitioners are challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the February 23 presidential election.
They alleged that the total number of votes that the electoral body declared in favour of President Buhari, was at variance with what was contained in a central server that contained results that were electronically transmitted.
They claimed that information they independently secured from the server indicated that PDP defeated the APC with about 1.6million votes.
However, INEC had since distanced itself from the allegation, even as it denied the existence of a central server through which results were electronically transmitted.
Meanwhile, at the resumed proceedings at the tribunal, counsel to the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, accused INEC of deliberately frustrating their case.
He told the court that both Prof. Yakubu and the Zamfara REC ignored a subpoenaed that was duly served on them to appear with specific documents with respect to the case.
In a ruling, Justice Garba noted that records before it indicated that the INEC boss was served with the subpoena on July 15.
He held that both Prof. Yakubu and the Zamfara State REC have a statutory duty to obey the subpoena that was issued to them.
Consequently, he ordered them to appear with the required documents by 12 noon on Thursday.