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Appeal court grants Tinubu access to inspect election materials; as Obi cancels campaign tour, storms court for ruling on BVAS inspection

Bola Tinubu (left) and Peter Obi

ABUJA – The Appeal Court in Abuja has granted the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, access to inspect electoral materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission during February 25, 2022, general elections.

The court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, said it was satisfied there was merit in Tinubu’s request to have access to the electoral materials to enable him to defend his election victory.

It held that both Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress, are entitled to have access to the materials in INEC’s possession to enable them to inspect, scan and make photocopies of them.

Both Tinubu and the APC had in separate exparte applications they brought before the court, said they would need the materials to prepare their defence against petitions that would seek to nullify the outcome of the election.

“The materials will be relevant in helping us to prepare our defence and also make comparison with information contained in INEC’s back-end server”, Tinubu’s lawyer, Mr. Akintola Makinde submitted.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the election, Mr. Peter Obi, has stormed the court to observe the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) case involved his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The court is set to deliver a ruling on the application by INEC to be allowed to reconfigure BVAS it used for the presidential election.

The three-member panel led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh will also deliver a ruling on the application filed by LP and Obi, to be allowed to conduct a physical inspection of all the BVAS that was used for the poll.

Obi in a series of tweets announced his arrival in court and how he had to cancel a crucial gubernatorial campaign tour to be physically present in court. Below are some of the tweets:

“I have arrived at the Appeal Court in Abuja. The place of the Nigerian Judiciary as a revered national institution remain important. We believe in due process. – PO”.

“I am supposed to commence our whistle-stop campaign for our various Labour Party Governorship and State Assembly Candidates today. Initially, my trip was to take me to Nasarawa, Lagos, Enugu, Abia, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Plateau, Borno, etc. – PO”

“However, following INEC’s refusal to allow our party to inspect the materials (including BVAS) from the 25th February presidential elections, I am personally heading to the Court today with our lawyers. – PO”

“As we pursue due process and defer to the rule of law, I urge all the OBIdients in the various states to continue campaigning for our candidates, namely, Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour in Lagos, Chijoke Edeoga in Enugu, Patrick Dakum in Plateau, Alex Otti in Abia, Ken Pela in Delta, Ibrahim Mshelia in Borno, to name just a few. It is also imperative that Obidients vote for candidates with Competence, Character, Capacity, and Compassion. I remain committed and will give more attention to our mission of retrieving our mandate. A new Nigeria is possible! –PO”.

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