The Abuja Court of Appeal set Wednesday to rule on an ex parte request by President-elect Bola Tinubu to inspect election materials that were deployed by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to conduct the February 25 elections.
On March 1, INEC President Mahmood Yakubu declared Mr. Tinubu the winner of the presidential election.
Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, won 8.8 million votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the People’s Democratic Party and Labor Party presidential candidates respectively.
In preparation for filing their petitions against the election result, Atiku and Mr Obi have indicated their intentions to challenge, Mr Tinubu has approached the Court of Appeal for permission to inspect confidential election materials.
The president-elect intends to inspect the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines and election results, among others, in preparation for his defense in the Presidential Election Petition Court, should Atiku and Mr. Obi file a formal petition to challenge his victory.
In Tuesday’s proceedings, the president-elect’s lawyer, Akintola Makinde, urged the appeals court to grant him permission to “inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the election materials” to allow him to prepare his defense against the election challenge. Atiku and Obi. in the Tribunal
“The materials will be relevant to help us prepare our defense and also make a comparison with the information contained in INEC’s back-end server,” Mr. Makinde said while filing the ex parte request.
Mr. Tinubu applied together with his party, the APC.
After hearing from Mr Makinde, the Court of Appeal panel led by Joseph Ikyegh set a Wednesday to rule on the application.
Similarly, Atiku and Mr. Obi, along with their political parties, obtained the same permission from the court to inspect confidential election materials that were used in the conduct of the elections.
Although INEC is seeking the court order to vary the permission previously granted to the presidential standard-bearers of the PDP and LP.
The election arbitrator argued that he needed to reconfigure the BVAS machines to conduct state congressional and gubernatorial elections on Saturday, March 11.