The Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of refusing to provide the requested documents. The LP and Obi are the petitioners in a case challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu, with respondents including INEC, Bola Tinubu, and Vice President Kashim Shettima, both of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
During proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Court, the LP and Obi informed the court that they are unable to proceed with their case due to INEC’s refusal to provide the requested documents. Mr Jubrin Okutepa, counsel for the LP, stated that all the documents requested from INEC were not provided. He expressed frustration at the delay and informed the court that some documents were only released that afternoon, despite being certified since May 29. Okutepa stressed that they had repeatedly written letters specifying the required documents and had already paid for most of them.
In response, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, counsel for INEC, informed the court that he had received a letter from the petitioners dated May 15 but had not received any other communication since then. Mahmoud clarified that all the documents requested by the subpoenaed witnesses had been provided by INEC, and they had not denied the petitioners any document. He urged the petitioners to stop their lamentation and expressed his commitment to the importance of the matter.
Mr Wole Olanipakun, SAN, counsel for Tinubu and Shettima, promised to facilitate a meeting among the senior counsels to address the raised issues. The court urged all parties to reach a better understanding and cooperate to ensure smooth proceedings.
The petitioners presented their seventh witness, Loretta Ogah, an architect with Amazon Web Services Incorporated (AWS). However, the respondents objected to the adoption of her witness statement. Mahmoud explained that the documents had just been served to them and requested time to study them before examining the witness. Olanipakun also objected to the adoption of the witness statement but clarified that they were not opposed to the witness testifying.
The petitioners tendered several documents, including the witness’s employment letter from Amazon, her resumé, six reports on the health status of the AWS dashboard, and certificates of compliance. The court admitted these documents as evidence.
The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned the proceedings until Tuesday to allow for the cross-examination of the witness and further hearing of the petition.