staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Abedemi Joseph, on Friday, told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that they were instructed by the Commission, their employer, not to give copies of election results to political party agents, who declined to sign the result sheets.
The witness made the revelation why testifying in a petition filed by a former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Led in evidence-in-chief by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Abedemi prayed the court to adopt her witness statement on oath as her evidence in the petition against the victory of Tinubu.
Abedemi, who was a presiding officer in Niger State during the February 25 presidential election, told the court that she was satisfied with the process as instructed.
She, however, said that they had instructions not to give out result sheets of the election to party agents who did not sign the result sheets.
Also testifying, a presiding agent in Edo State during the election, told the court that she tried in vain to upload the presidential election results to the INEC server.
While another subpoena witness from Kogi State, Grace Ajagbonna, also affirmed the peaceful conduct of the election, saying she was not happy that she could not upload the presidential election on the INEC Result Viewing (IRev) Portal as instructed.
Ajagbonna, responding to INEC counsel as to whether she was happy with the conduct of the election and her work as presiding officer, said, “I was not happy that I was unable to transmit the result to the server.”
However, INEC, represented by Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN; APC, represented by Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, and other respondents objected to the use of statements made on oath by the subpoenaed witnesses to be tendered at PEPC in support of Atiku’s petition.
Atiku’s lawyer, Chris Uche urged the court to discountance their objections and grant their request.
The five-man panel headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani , however, reserved ruling on the applications.
Meanwhile, the Court has adjourned further hearing to June 10, 2023.
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