The Independent National Electoral Commission has assured the Labour Party’s legal team that it will provide all the documents the party has requested for its ongoing suit against the commission and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The chairman of the electoral body, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance when Labour Party’s legal head, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, led a 60-man legal team to a meeting with representatives of INEC in Abuja on Monday to discuss modalities for obtaining the documents.
Saying the commission has nothing to hide, Yakubu further assured that Resident Electoral Commissioners at the state level would also make available necessary documents to the party speedily.
He said, “INEC has nothing to hide. Documents available at the HQ will be given immediately. We are meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners today and we will discuss how other documents at the state level could also be made available to you speedily.”
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