September 30, 2023 2:33 am

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Atiku calls on INEC Chairman and Secretary to testify in tribunal hearing

Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has applied for the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to appear before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja. He also called for the INEC Secretary, Rose Omoa Oriaran-Anthony, to appear before the court. The hearing started with [19th witness] Mr. Alex Adumter, a lawyer and politician, as Atiku’s star witness, who testified in the matter. Atiku, the PDP candidate and former Vice President, stated that he will formally obtain subpoenas to compel the trio to appear before the court to give evidence and to also tender sensitive electoral documents.


Atiku is contesting INEC’s declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25 presidential election. Despite objections from Tinubu and the APC, the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel approved five ad-hoc staff members of INEC who participated in the presidential election to testify as witnesses.


The five INEC ad-hoc staff admitted that there was no electronic transmission of results of the presidential election although results of the National Assembly elections were successfully transmitted through the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System. The BVAS malfunction made it impossible for the presidential election results to be electronically transmitted to INEC’s I-Rev portal, in real-time.

Current Situation

During the hearing, INEC told the court that it had filed an objection to additional witness statements filed by Atiku and PDP in support of their petition. INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmood, SAN, argued that the additional statements contained fresh issues not covered by the original petition before the court. The petitioner’s counsel, Chief Uche, SAN, urged the court to discountenance INEC’s objection. In contrast, lawyers for President Tinubu and the APC aligned themselves with the position of the electoral body. The court subsequently adjourned till Wednesday, with Atiku seeking a declaration of his win and the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return issued to President Tinubu.

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