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Elections Tribunal: Court Grant APC Prayers For BVAS Inspection



The New Nigeria People’s Party NNPP, has suffered a Setback as the Kano Governorship Election Tribunal grants APC Prayers for INEC to produce BVAS and also allowed them to personally inspect them in the ongoing Governorship Elections legal debacles.

The Tribunal Friday admitted the All Progressives Congress (APC) application to inspect the Biomodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machine used during the 18th March, 2023 governorship poll in the state, but refused the Party request for joined inspection with the NNPP.

APC has petitioned the tribunal challenging the declaration of Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf as winner of the gubernatorial election in the state. The petitioner has joined INEC and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the petition seeking to invalidate the outcome of 18th March, gubernatorial poll.

At the last sitting, counsel to the petitioner, Nureini Jimoh, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who cited section 146(1)(2) of electoral Act. sought the order of the tribunal to compel INEC to make available production of BVAS machines used for the governorship poll.

The counsel to the Petitioner also urged the court to grant request for a joint inspection of the electoral materials in the interest of justice and for the purpose of using same to defending his petition.

In a counter argument, counsels to 1st respondent (INEC) K.C Wisdom, 2nd respondent (Abba Kabiru Yusuf) B.J Akomolafe, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and 3rd respondent (NNPP) Abdulhameed Mohammad, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) asked the tribunal to dismiss the APC’s application.

In his objection, Counsel to INEC, K.C Wisdom insisted the petitioner’s application was an attempt to alter the main petition. He reminded that since the petitioner had enjoyed earlier order of the court to inspect INEC material, the court need not to extend another permit to inspect INEC BVAS machines.

Similarly, counsel to second respondent, B.J Akomolafe urged tribunal to deny APC access to inspect INEC BVAS having exhausted its 14 days window period to inspect the electoral materials.

Ruling on the subject matter however, the panel Chaired by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay overruled the objection of the respondents, declared that provisions of section 146 of electoral Act afforded the petitioner right to inspect all electoral materials.

Justice Osadebay maintained that it is only fair to allow the petitioner to access the BVAS produce and in the interest of justice while enable the petitioner to prove it’s case. The led Justice reminded that refusing to grant the application may jeopardize the interest of justice and equity.

The panel thereby reserved ruling in all the pre-consolidated applications during the final address. Hearing of the substantive matter on the petition begins 19th, June, 2023