By Edith Nwapi
Abuja, June 19, 2023
The Labour Party (LP) and it’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi on Monday alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused to provide documents they asked for.
Obi and the LP are petitioners in the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Respondents are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), president Bola Tinubu and Vice president Kashim Shettima and All Progressives Congress (APC).
The LP and Obi told the Presidential Election Petition Court that due to INEC ‘s refusal to provide them documents they asked for, they can’t go on with their case.
Mr. Jubrin Okutepa, counsel for the LP, told the court that all the documents his client asked for from INEC were not provided.
“We are bringing this to your notice for your intervention because we have done everything humanly possible.
“This afternoon, INEC released few IreV reports from Lagos and Gombe.
“These documents were certified since May 29. We have severally written letters detailing the documents we needed in proof of our petition.
“We have paid for most of these documents,” he said.
He further informed the court that it appears that INEC was deliberately delaying proceedings.
Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN counsel for INEC, told the court that he received a letter dated May 15 from the petitioners and have not received any other letter after that.
“All the documents that the subpoenaed witnesses are tendering were provided by INEC. We never denied the petitioners any document.
“I am a senior counsel and know the importance of this matter. They should stop this lamentation,” he said.
Mr. Wole Olanipakun, SAN counsel for Tinubu and Shettima promised to ensure that a meeting between senior counsel holds to address the issues raised.
The court urged them to come to a better understanding so that the proceeding can go on smoothly as they pledged in their spirit of cooperation.
The petitioners through their counsel, Patrick Ikweato, SAN brought their seventh witness (PW 7) to come and testify.
The subpoenaed witness, Loretta Ogah, is an architect with Amazon Web Services incorporated (AWS).
At the point of adopting her witness statement on oath, the respondents objected.
Mahmoud, told the court that the petitioners just served them with the documents.
“I will not be in the position to examine the witness today, I need to study the documents,” he said.
Olanipakun also objected to adoption of the witness statement.
“We are not saying that the witness should not go on with her evidence,” he said.
The petitioners tendered the witness’s employment letter by Amazon and her resumé and they were admitted in evidence.
Also admitted were six reports showing the health status of AWS dashboard of cloud services in 33 regions and certificates of compliance.
Meanwhile, the five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned until Tuesday for the cross examination of the witness and further hearing of the petition.