The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has announced that it will deliver rulings on the motions filed by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Labour Party (LP), and its candidate in the last presidential election, Peter Obi, on Wednesday, at 2 pm. These motions are to obtain permission to inspect the materials used by INEC during the previous presidential election.
During the tribunal’s proceedings on Tuesday, Tinubu’s lawyer, Akintola Makinde, moved two ex-parte motions requesting permission to inspect materials used during the elections and obtain copies.
Omosanya Popoola, the lawyer for APC, also filed two ex-parte motions seeking similar prayers as Tinubu’s motions. INEC’s lawyer, Tanimu Inuwa, argued the motion on notice filed by the commission, requesting the court to grant the prayers sought. He stated that INEC requires adequate time to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines before the next round of elections. He cautioned the court against granting the LP and Obi’s application for the physical inspection of the BVAS machines and CTC of the report of the BVAS machines.
Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), the lawyer for LP and Obi, objected to INEC’s application and urged the court to dismiss it. He added that his clients wanted the evidence in the BVAS machines preserved before they were reconfigured since the information on the INEC back end server could vary from time to time.
The PDP and Atiku’s motions were not heard due to the lack of adequate time for Inuwa to respond. The court ordered parties to return at 2 pm on Wednesday for the hearing of the motions.
The outcome of the ruling will be significant as it will determine the admissibility of evidence and the course of the proceedings in the election tribunal.