The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday struck out an application filed by Peter Obi and the Labour party which sought to interrogate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on its claim that technological glitches prevented the transmission of the 2023 presidential election results.
Obi’s legal team had filed an application on May 22 seeking leave to serve interrogatries containing 12 questions on the first respondents, INEC. On June 2, the petitioners filed application praying the court hear the motion outside the pre- hearing session.
The interrogatory application wants INEC to disclose who restored the alleged technical glitches, time the technological glitches was fixed and/or repaired, the exact time of the occurrence of the technical glitch which prevented the electronic transmission of the results of the Presidential Election, among others.
Obi’s lawyer Patrick Ikwueto had urged the court to grant his application in the interest of justice, but all respondents including INEC, counsels to Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress opposed the motion and urged the court to dismiss it, saying its a water of time.
In a unanimous ruling on the application the five-man panel of judges led by Justice Haruna Tsammani struck out the motion. Justice Tsammani held that the application ought to have been filed within the timeline stipulated for such application.
Justice Tsammani said the motion of the petitioners was served after it had concluded it’s pre-hearing session on May 22.
Tsammani held that for a motion to be heard after its pre-hearing session, the petitioner must place before it the extreme circumstances that made him to file the application, and will have to satisfy the requirements of the law.
“This court is bound by record on proceedings. The law is established that it is the duty of a party to call the attention of the court over the pendency of an application.
“Accordingly, this application fails and is accordingly struck out”, Tsammani held.