The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday granted the requests by Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar to inspect electoral materials used in the conduct of the presidential election held, Saturday, 25th February, 2023.
Obi, who is the candidate of the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have rejected the outcome of the presidential election which produced Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner and president-elect.
They alleged that the exercise was marred by irregularities and resolved to challenge the outcome in court.
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According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu polled 8.974 million votes to beat his closest rivals, Atiku and Obi, who scored 6.984 million votes and 6.101 million votes respectively.
Prime Business Africa had reported.that the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who is the Chief Returning Officer for the presidential election on Wednesday, March 1, declared Tinubu as the winner and president-elect. The former governor of Lagos on Thursday received his certificate of return from the Commission.
Obi and Atiku filed separate exparte applications seeking an order of the court to inspect materials used for the conduct of the election.
A panel of the appellate court led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh granted their requests after it heard the two separate ex-parte applications filed by the two aggrieved presidential candidates alongside their political parties.
The plaintiffs listed INEC, APC and Tinubu as defendants in the suit.
According to the duo, the inspection would enable them prepare their petition against the conduct of the election.
The applications were brought pursuant to Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 146 of the Electoral Act 2022, paragraphs 47(1) and 54 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022, and under the inherent power of the tribunal.
The duo had in separate press conferences pointed out that INEC failed to follow its guidelines by not uploading election results from polling units and resolved to challenge the outcome in court.