• Monday, April 15, 2024
businessday logo


Atiku issues subpoena on INEC Chair to appear before Tribunal 

The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party and Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday said it subpoenaed INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu to compel him to appear and produce electoral documents before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

Atiku’s lawyer,Chris Uche said it would formally write to summon the chairman since its lawyers constantly object to Certified True Copies of electoral documents it tenders at the court.  He said he would formally obtain subpoenas to compel the Secretary of the Commission,  Rose Oriarian-Anton, as well as INEC’s National Commissioner,  Festus Okoyeto appear before the court.

“Want to state that it has gotten to the stage where we will summon the National Chairman of INEC, the Secretary of the Commission as well as the National Commissioner, to appear in court with documents. By Thursday, we will make the formal application”, Uche told the court.

Uche also presented  Alex Adum Ter who served as the National Coordinator of the PDP Situation room during the presidential election as its star witness before court in its petition challenging the election

The witness adopted his witness statement on oath wherein he mentioned the video of the INEC Chairman,  and the INEC National Commissioner, as well as the European Union Election Observer Mission as evidence including the certificate of authenticity of the videos in line with the Evidence Act 2011.

The legal team of INEC, President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, however objected to the tendering of the video to be used as evidence. The  five-man panel of judges  led by Justice Haruna Tsammani  reserved ruling till final judgement but permitted Atiku’s team to play the video evidence.

The first video was where Mahmood said no going back on using BVAS for voter accreditation and transmission of election results in realtime, the second video was where Okoye said there will be no incidence forms on election day and that if BVAS fails to work, the election at such polling unit will be rescheduled for the next day, while the  third video showed the press briefing of the EU Observer Mission to Nigeria where its official, Barry Andrews, said there was a lack of critical planning and lack of transparency on the part of INEC regarding the transmission of scanned polling unit results to IREV.

After the videos ended, Uche applied to tender screenshots of the IREV portal of INEC as at March 18 and March 19, as mentioned by the witness. He also tendered the INEC CTC IREV report showing 9403 polling units uploaded as of March 1, out of 176,000 polling units, which all respondents objected to.

Under cross examination by Tinubu’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi, Ter admitted that the polling unit result is the primary source of validating election results, while alleging deliberate bypass of the BVAS machine during the presidential election.

Uche called another witness, one Olatunji Shelle, a retired naval officer and politician who served as Lagos State PDP Collation agent, who, under cross examination by INEC lawye alleged that there were secret polling units in Lagos.

Uche subsequently called for adjournment of his matter till Tuesday.