Our reporter| The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Independent National Electoral (INEC) to allow Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, to inspect electoral materials used for the conduct of the presidential election.
INEC conducted the presidential and National Assembly elections on 25 February.
On 1 March, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC’s chairman, declared Tinubu who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election. Tinubu polled 8.8 voted to beat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who came third.
In the ruling on Wednesday, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Joseph Ikyegh, said “after reading the applicants motion exparte, I am satisfied that there is substance in the application. I accordingly grant him leave to inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the electoral materials.”
Tinubu had filed an ex parte application on Tuesday urging the court to allow him have access to the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System machines which were used in the conduct of the polls.
During the hearing of the application, the President-elect’s lawyer, Akintola Makinde, prayed the appellate court to grant him leave “to inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the electoral materials” to enable him prepare his defence against Atiku and Mr Obi’s challenge at the tribunal.
“The materials will be relevant in helping us to prepare our defence and also make comparison with the information contained in INEC’s back-end server,” Mr Makinde said while moving the ex parte request.
Atiku and Obi alongside their political parties have obtained the same permission from the court to inspect sensitive electoral materials that were used in the conduct of the election, although INEC is seeking the court’s order to vary the permission earlier granted the PDP and LP presidential flag bearers.