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20
June
2023

INEC still withholding vital documents, Peter Obi tells Court

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of frustrating the hearing of its petition before the presidential election court

Obi and the LP are challenging the outcome of the election held on February 25, which produced Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as Nigeria’s President.

At the resumed hearing of the petition on Monday, counsel to the petitioners, Jibrin Okutepa, claimed that INEC has refused to release some documents needed for the prosecution of their case.

Okutepa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the letters were written to INEC, requesting documents to help prove their petition, noting that the letters were acknowledged by the commission.

According to him, the electoral body also refused to accept service of the subpoenas issued to them

Counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, however, countered the claim, saying the allegation against the commission is untrue.

Mahmoud stated that he said he only received one letter from the petitioner’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, on May 15 which he said was promptly replied to on the same day.

The senior lawyer maintained that Okutekpa never approached him to talk about issues.

However, Uzoukwu denied receiving any response to his letter.

He prayed for the court to make an order against INEC to comply with the subpoena and produce the documents they are requesting.

As tempers rose, the panel of justices sued for calm as they stressed the need for cooperation in order to unearth the truth about the February 25 presidential election.

The presiding judge, Justice Haruna Tsammani, after listening to both parties, adjourned further hearings to June 20, 2023.

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