The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, vehemently objected to a request by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Mr Peter Gregory Obi and his party to tender exhibits in 17 states of the federation against the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The exhibits, mainly form EC8B used by the electoral body in collating results at the ward level of the states during the February 25 presidential election were opposed to be tendered by INEC which issued the exhibits to Obi and the Labour Party.
Represented at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Steve Adehi, INEC while opposing the admissibility of the documents, however, informed the court to give rationale for his objections at the address stage of the proceedings.
Obi’s lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Mr Benbella Anachebe, while introducing the documents, explained that the exhibits were obtained from the custody of INEC.
Besides, Anachebe said that the documents were duly certified by the electoral body before releasing them to his clients.
Apart from INEC, which conducted the election in dispute, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC), who were declared winners of the poll, also kicked against the admission of the exhibits.
However, in line with the pre-hearing report and agreements of counsel, reasons for the objections are to be reserved at the address stage of the hearing of the petition.
The states where the exhibits were tendered and admitted are Adamawa, Bayelsa, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Sokoto, Delta and Ekiti.
Others are Imo, Kaduna, Oyo, Cross River, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Lagos.
That of Ebonyi was put off on the grounds that INEC was yet to make the exhibits available to the two petitioners.
Breakdown of the exhibits showed that the collated Ward results were tendered in 21 local government areas of Adamawa, 8 in Bayelsa, 23 in Benue, 21 in Kogi, 11 in Nasarawa, 25 in Niger, 18 in Ondo, 23 in Sokoto and 25 in Delta.
The rest are 11 local government areas of ekiti state, 25 in Imo, 21 in Kaduna, 27 in Oyo, 18 in Cross River, 15 in Edo, 31 in Akwa Ibom and 20 in Lagos.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has adjourned further hearing in the petition till June 7.
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