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Why Tribunal Dismissed LP, Peter Obi’s Request To Prove INEC ‘Colluded’ With APC To Compromise IRev

The Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja on Saturday struck out two application filed by the Labour party candidate, Peter Obi, which sought to extract answers from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, regarding its claim that ‘technological glitches’ prevented electronic transmission of the 2023 presidential election results.

The LP had in one of the motions filed on May 22 sought the court’s leave to issue and deliver interrogatories on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).They had intended, by the interrogatories, to obtain more information from INEC.

Obi’s lawyer, P.I Ekweto SAN had earlier adopted his interrogatory application which among other things wanted INEC to disclose who restored the alleged “technical glitches” the electoral umpire said happened on election day, among other things.

But INEC counsel, Oluwakemi Pinheiro SAN, had urged the court to dismiss the application, saying it was a waste of time.

APC’s lawyer, Olanrewaji Akinsola also asked the court to dismiss the application for being filed out of time.

Part of the questions asked by Obi in the application includes,

“What time was the technological glitches fixed and or repaired? “What was the exact time of the occurrence of the technical glitch which prevented the e-transmission of the results of the Presidential Election on 25th February 2023?.”The judge held that it was a fact that the motion of the petitioners was served after it had concluded it’s pre-hearing session on May 22.

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“This court is bound by record on proceedings.

In a ruling the court’s five-member panel was unanimous that the two applications were without, having been filed outside the time allowed by law, a development which denied the court the jurisdiction to hear them.

The Presiding Justice (PJ), Justice Haruna Tsammani noted that the petitioners’ lawyers were not diligent in their conduct which informed why they did not file the applications within the time allowed.

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In the second, filed on June 2, the petitioners sought the court’s permission to have the first application heard outside the pre-hearing session.

Justice Tsammani held that the petitioners did not establish any circumstance of extreme urgency that would have made the court to exercise discretion in their favour.

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