Tinubu, APC, INEC oppose admission of Atiku’s documents in evidence

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President Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) objected on Wednesday to the admission of some documents sought to be tendered in evidence by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.

At the resumed hearing of Atiku and the PDP’s petition challenging President Tinubu’s election at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, counsel to the petitioners, Mr Chris Uche, SAN, said the team had prepared a second schedule of documents to be tendered.

Some of the documents presented in evidence by the petitioners were certified true copies of Form EC8A downloaded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from its Result Viewing Portal (IREV).

The Form EC8A was for eight Bayelsa local government areas, 23 Kaduna State local government areas, 20 Ogun State local government areas, and 23 Kogi State local government areas.

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According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Form EC8As are sheets used to collect results at the polling unit level.

Form EC40G for Kaduna State was also submitted by the petitioners.

Form EC40G is the form on which INEC enters the number of polling units that were cancelled or voters who were unable to vote.

True certified copies of Forms EC8E for eight Kaduna State local government areas and some Kogi local government areas were also offered.

Form EC8E is the final form used for final results declaration.

The petitioners also submitted a print of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) for accreditation data, including time stamps for 33 states.

Jegede asked the court to consider the documents read in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 46(A) of the Electoral Act’s first schedule.

Mr Kemi Pinhero, SAN, counsel to INEC, objected to the admissibility of all documents pertaining to Kogi except those of five Local Government Areas, namely Olamaboro, Ofu, Omala, Okehi, and Ajaokuta.

He claimed this was because the petitioners’ pleadings specifically pleaded the five local governments whose documents he did not oppose.

Pinhero also questioned the admissibility of documents pertaining to the BVAS, with the exception of Kogi, Rivers, and Sokoto states.

Tinubu’s counsel, Mr R. Okala, SAN, and the APC’s counsel, Mr Adeniyi Akintola, SAN, both objected to the admissibility of the documents sought by the PDP and Atiku.

However, as agreed during the pre-hearing stage, the counsel reserved their reasons for objecting to the admission of the documents in evidence until after their final addresses.

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After objecting to the admissibility of the documents, all counsel also refused to consent to the documents being deemed read.

However, the Court’s Chairman, Justice Haruna Tsammani, admitted the documents as evidence and labelled them appropriately.

The case was then postponed until Thursday to allow for the continuation of the hearing.

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