UPDATED: Tribunal rejects request by Atiku, PDP to access INEC’s server

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has rejected the request of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to have access to the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

A five-man panel of the tribunal refused the request, saying issues have been joined by parties on the existence or otherwise of the server.

In a unanimous ruling, the panel upheld the separation objections by the three respondents to the petitioners’ application.

The respondents are INEC, Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Garba said INEC had denied having a server, adding that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC).”

According to him, the supreme court had on many occasions warned judges to desist from “making observations, comments or pronouncements in its rulings with any likely effect of prejudging the main issue that can be regarded as the issue to be tried in the course of trial.”

The judges ruled the tribunal cannot delve into those issues at the interlocutory stage.