Election Tribunal: Court Admits Obi’s Election Evidence Against Tinubu

On Thursday, the Presidential Election Petition Court accepted as evidence the data analysis of the presidential election results held on February 25, along with their supporting appendices.

The court also admitted blurred results from 18,088 polling units, which were obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission’s results viewing portal. The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, presented this evidence as part of their challenge against the outcome of the election, in which Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared the winner by INEC. During the hearing, the petitioners’ counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), informed the court of his intention to call Professor Eric Ofoedu, a mathematics professor, as a witness. The witness had been engaged by the Labour Party a few days before the election to analyze the data.

The court also admitted a letter addressed to Ofoedu requesting his services and the subpoena served on him. The respondents in the case, namely the Independent National Electoral Commission, Tinubu, his vice-president Kashim Shettima, and the APC, objected to the admissibility of the documents. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), counsel for the APC, objected specifically to the admissibility of the subpoena but consented to the court admitting the engagement letter.

The reasons for their objections will be presented at a later stage of the petition. Led by Ikpeazu (SAN), the mathematics professor presented a report on data analysis of the election, an investigation into the INEC Results Viewing scores, and a separate analysis of the results in Rivers and Benue states. The reports were admitted by the court as exhibits PCG1 to PVG3, respectively. The court also accepted as evidence the blurred results from 18,088 polling units obtained from IReV. The respondents did not cross-examine the witness due to their objection that they had received the witness statement only a few minutes before the sitting. The court ruled that the cross-examination would be conducted on June 16. Additionally, the petitioners summoned Arise News Television to appear before the court in support of their petition against Tinubu. A member of staff from the TV station, Lumnie Edevbie, presented a flash drive containing a video clip of INEC’s chairman, Yakubu Mahmoud, giving a speech at Chatham’s house in London on January 17. In the speech, Mahmoud advocated for the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and the IRev as the commission’s main archive and repository for the election results. The respondents objected to the admissibility of the video clip, but the court admitted it as one of the exhibits in the petition. The court adjourned the hearing to June 16 for further proceedings in the petition filed by the Labour Party and Peter Obi.

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