INEC Chairman, Zamfara REC obey presidential election tribunal

Election petition tribunal
Election petition tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has complied with a directive of the presidential election petition tribunal to provide documents listed in the subpoena issued to its top officials early July.

The commission’s lead counsel, Yunus Usman, informed the court of the commission’s compliance on Thursday and read through a letter written by the commission for presentation with the documents.

Mr Usman said INEC complied with the court’s directive because the commission is determined to be obedient to the court.

The tribunal had noted the failure of the commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and the Resident Electoral Commission for the commission in Zamfara State to obey the subpoena earlier given to them by the court.

The subpoena had followed an application by the PDP for the commission to provide them with documents they intend to use in proving their allegation.

The court ordered the commission to comply with the directives in the subpoena before noon on Thursday or the officials should appear before the court.

On Thursday, the court also ruled against an application filed by the Peoples Democratic Movement seeking its exclusion from the petition brought through its presidential candidate.

The PDM, a party known to have ties with the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, had asked the court to exclude the party from the petition challenging Mr Buhari’s election.

The tribunal chaired by Garba Mohammed, however, refused the application on the grounds that it was filed later than necessary.

The court also said the party was an integral part of the petition since an individual cannot vie for an election alone in Nigeria.

A similar application by another set of petitioners, the Hope Democratic Party had been dismissed after the party accused its presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, of approaching the tribunal without its consent.

The PDP, PDM and HDP are the three political parties currently contesting the conduct of the 2019 elections.

While the PDP has alleged fraudulent connivance of the ruling APC with the electoral umpire to manipulate the results, the HDP says it would have won the elections if the date was not postponed till February 23.

The PDM on its part said its name was excluded from the ballot papers.

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