April 25, 2024

Obi seeks court’s order to interrogate INEC on ICT experts used for 2023 presidential election

Obi seeks court’s order to interrogate INEC on ICT experts used for 2023 presidential election

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 election, Mr Peter Obi, on Thursday, sought an order of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) to interrogate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the experts on Information and Communication Technology ICT) used for the conduct of the election.

In two separate motions argued on his behalf by Mr Patrick Ikweto, SAN, Obi sought to know the quality of the ICT experts deployed in the use of technology for the conduct of election.

In the two motions, Obi and LP posed 12 questions to be forwarded to the electoral body for answers so as to aid him and LP in establishing their allegations of poor conduct, especially malpractices in the conduct of the election.

He claimed that the request, if granted, would assist him in the effective presentation of his petition challenging the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the election.

However, INEC, represented by Mr Kemi Pinhero, SAN objected to Obi’s bid to subject his client to interrogation through incompetent applications.

The senior lawyer argued that Obi’s applications had become belated because he brought them outside the time allowed by law.

Specifically, Pinhero argued that such an application ought to have been brought and argued during the pre-hearing session, adding that bringing the application outside the pre-hearing session has robbed the court of jurisdiction to hear it.

He insisted that the application must fail because it is a waste of time, adding that the precious time of the court must not be expended on such a request.

President Tinubu, represented by Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN and the All Progressives Congress (APC), represented by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, also kicked against granting of the request, insisting that the application is grossly incompetent in the face of the law.

Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice, Haruna Tsammani has reserved ruling on the applications.

Justice Tsammani also fixed June 9 for further hearing into the petition.

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