Court grants Atiku access to election materials

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The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has been granted access to all certified copies of materials used in conducting the just concluded presidential election.

The Court of Appeal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow Abubakar and his party, the PDP to have access to all the materials.

The three-member panel led Abdul Aboki also ordered INEC to make available to Mr Abubakar and the PDP all documents and electoral materials used for the election for the purpose of the inspection.

Delivering a unanimous ruling on the exparte motion filed by Mr Abubakar and the PDP, Aboki, however, refused the applicants’ prayers for scanning and forensic analysis of the election materials.

The court also refused to direct INEC to make available all polling documents for forensic analysis as requested by the applicants.

The court, in addition, refused to order the electoral body to permit forensic experts of the applicants to examine form EC48 and other relevant forms used for the election.

Aboki noted that the applicant’s lawyer, Chris Uche, had rightly based his argument on a previous decision of Election Petition Tribunal, but observed that the decision which permits applicants to inspect, to scan for forensic analysis has been overruled by “this court because it confers unfair advantage to the applicant.”

The appeal court serves as the election petition tribunal for the presidential election.

Mr Abubakar and the PDP are challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the February 23 presidential election.

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