The Independent National Electoral Commission has promised the Labour Party’s legal team that it will submit all the documents requested by the party in its ongoing case against the commission and President-elect Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The chairman of the electoral body, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance when the Legal head of the Labour Party, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, led a team of 60 lawyers to a meeting with INEC representatives in Abuja on Monday to discuss how to get the materials used for the Presidential election. Asserting that the commission has nothing to hide, Yakubu also said that the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioners will speed up the release of the necessary documents for the party.
He said: “INEC has nothing to hide. The documents at the headquarters will be delivered immediately. We are meeting with the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioners today and we will discuss how you can get the other state documents as soon as possible.
Recall that INEC had come under fire for its failure to upload the results of the presidential election from all polling units across the federation to its Results Viewing Portal on Election Day.
Consequently, party agents of the Labour Party, the Peoples Democratic Party and some others, had staged a walkout from the National Collation Centre in Abuja in protest against the collation and results announced by the commission.
Ignoring the agitation of the opposition parties, INEC in the early hours of Wednesday, March 1, 2023, declared Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, President-elect and winner of the election. Tinubu polled about 8.8 million votes ahead of his rivals in the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, who polled 6.9 million votes and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who polled 6.1 million votes.
Dissatisfied with the election results and declaration, the Labour Party had approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to grant it permission to inspect the election materials used by the commission during the February 25 polls, including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, which was the major technology deployed during the polls to enhance a free and free process.
However, INEC, in a countersuit, prayed the court to grant it permission to reconfigure the BVAS ahead of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections.
Granting the electoral body permission to reconfigure the BVAS used in the presidential election, the commission has however assured the Labour Party that the information on the BVAS would be backed up for their inspection and has now promised that all documents requested by the party will be made readily available to the party.