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3/06/2019

ATIKU: I’M SET TO PROVE IRREGULARITIES IN PRESIDENTIAL POLL


ATIKU: I’M SET TO PROVE IRREGULARITIES IN PRESIDENTIAL POLL
Moments after the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal granted his request to inspect the electoral materials used by for the conduct of the February 23 poll, Atiku Abubakar has cited reasons he applied for the order.

He explained that the request was to establish his claim that the exercise was fraught with manifest irregularities, including multiple thumb-printing of ballot papers, saying he intends to engage forensic experts to analyse the election materials.

Atiku had in his petition asked the tribunal to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to surrender all the materials that were used for the February 23 presidential election for inspection.

In an ex-parte motion dated March 4 and marked CA/A/P/EPT/1/2019, he prayed for leave of the tribunal to allow them inspect the Voters Register, the Smart Card Reader Machines, Ballot Papers and other vital documents used in the conduct of the presidential election.

Equally, he asked that INEC be compelled by the Tribunal to allow their agents scan and make photocopies of vital documents used in the conduct of the election, for the purpose of establishing alleged irregularities.

Although the tribunal granted Atiku’s access to electoral materials used for inspection, the three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki unanimously rejected other prayers by the applicants seeking orders permitting them to, among others, photocopy and scan the electoral documents.

The request to be allowed to conduct a forensic examination and forensic analysis of the materials and have access to card reader data and information contained in the cloud and electronic storage used for the poll was also rejected.

Delivering the lead ruling, Justice Aboki said by virtue of the provision of section 151 of the Electoral Act on which the applicants’ motion ex parte was anchored, they were only entitled to inspection of the electoral materials and the certified true copies of all the materials used for the poll.

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