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INEC Chair, Yakubu to tender voter register at presidential tribunal June 16


INEC Chair, Yakubu to tender voter register at presidential tribunal June 16

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood, is to appear before the Presidential Election Petition Court on Friday, June 16, to tender the Certified True Copy of the Voter Register used by his commission for the 2023 presidential election.

Yakubu, who would be accompanied to the court by the top officials of the electoral body, was summoned by the court at the instance of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in the February 25 presidential election.

The lead counsel to Atiku and PDP, whose joint petition is challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu, Chris Uche SAN, dropped the hint at the close of Thursday’s proceedings of the court.

Uche said that the subpoena issued to command the appearance of the INEC boss has been confirmed.

At Thursday’s proceedings, the election umpire tendered four sets of documents before the court in respect of the petition of the PDP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Among the documents tendered are the Form EC9 of President Bola Tinubu,which contains the information he supplied INEC to secure clearance for the election.

Tinubu is the second respondent in the petition, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the third.

The court, following an application by Atiku, issued a subpoena to Mahmood in respect of certain documents relating to the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.

The INEC boss, who was expected to tender the said documents before the court on Thursday, however, had them tendered on his behalf by a Deputy Director, Certification and Complaints, Legal Drafting and Clearance Department, INEC Headquarters, Abuja, Mrs Moronkeji Tairu.

Uche disclosed that the petitioners in the application of May 26 listed 11 items for the INEC boss to bring before the court.

However, Mrs Tairu observed that only four items requested by the petitioners were brought on Thursday, adding that the items are Form EC8D series (results from states); EC8DA (final declaration of results); Certified True Copies (CTCs) of Rivers Bi-modal Verification Accreditation System (BVAS) report, BVAS reports from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Form EC9 of Tinubu (personal information supplied by Tinubu to INEC in aid of his qualification for the presidential election).

Although INEC lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, joined Tinubu and APC’s lawyers to object to the admissibility of the documents, the court nevertheless admitted them as exhibits, adding that ruling in the objections would be delivered later.

Uche, while responding to INEC’s position that the certified documents have not been paid for, reiterated that the petitioners have so far paid the sum of N6.7 million to INEC for certification, adding that the documents brought before the court were court subpoenaed documents.

The former vice president had dragged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) to court, protesting the process and eventual outcome of the presidential election which produced Tinubu as president.

Besides allegations of irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws for which Atiku and PDP are seeking the nullification of the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the February 25 presidential election, the petitioners are also insisting that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the poll on account of alleged perjury, double nomination, dual citizenship, forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 to the United States of America over alleged complicity in drug related offences.

Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, has fixed June 16 for the continuation of hearing in the petition.

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