Mahmood Yakubu, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday has cried out that it had no electronic server that will be accessed or inspected by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and it party Peoples Democratic Party PDP.INEC had denied the existence of the server in April 10, 2019 to oppose Atiku and the PDP’s petition.
Now, the petitioners are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party All Progressives Congress at the last presidential election.
INEC, Buhari and the APC, who are the respondents to the petition and to the petitioners’ application for access to the server used for the election, on Thursday asked the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel to dismiss the petitioners’ request.
The three respondents, through their respective counsel, reminded the tribunal that the Court of Appeal had, on May 6, 2019 (before the petition was filed on May 18), dismissed a similar application filed by the petitioners.
Represented at the Thursday’s proceedings by its lead counsel, Mr Yunus Usman (SAN), INEC said the application by the petitioners amounted to asking the commission to produce what it did not have.
Urging the tribunal to dismiss the application, Usman said, “We attached as Exhibit 1, the enrolled order of this honourable court made on May 6, 2019 refusing all the prayers of the petitioners in this application. They said we should bring what we don’t have.”
INEC had declared Buhari and the APC the winner of the February 23 election.
It said Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.
But Atiku and the PDP, in their petition filed on March 18 to challenge the outcome of the polls, contended that “from the data” obtained from INEC’s server, “the true, actual and correct results” showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
Atiku and PDP had claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.