INEC Calls One Witness, Closes Case In Obi, LP’s Petition

The petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) before the presidential election petition court has concluded its defence, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

During the court session on Tuesday, Lawrence Bayode, an information technology practitioner, provided his testimony under the guidance of Abubakar Mahmoud, the counsel representing INEC. Prior to the witness taking the stand, INEC submitted several documents, which were admitted as exhibits by the court. During cross-examination, Bayode stated that blurred documents obtained from the result viewing portal do not impact the recorded polling unit results in forms EC8As.

The witness further clarified that photographic copies of forms EC8A, captured through the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and transmitted to IReV, are not relevant for the process of collating results. He also assured the court that the technical malfunction experienced during the presidential poll did not undermine the credibility of the election results. Bayode emphasized that only the physical results documented in forms EC8As are utilized for the final aggregation of election outcomes.

Following the witness’s discharge, Mahmoud informed the court that they had no additional witnesses to present. Wole Olanipekun, the legal representative for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, stated that their defence would commence on Wednesday.

The case, identified as petition number CA/PEPC/03/2023, in which Obi and the LP challenge Tinubu’s victory in the presidential election held on February 25, was adjourned by the five-member panel headed by Haruna Tsammani. The proceedings are set to resume on Wednesday.