The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has requested the Presidential Election Petition Court to vary the orders granted to Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) respectively, to inspect materials used for the last presidential election.
In a motion on notice filed on March 4, INEC is asking the court to modify the order that restrains it from tampering with the materials used for the election. The commission stated that it needs to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the next round of elections, which is why it requires access to the materials.
The Court of Appeal Abuja had earlier granted the request of Atiku and Obi to have access to all sensitive materials deployed by INEC for the conduct of the presidential election held on February 25. The applicants urged the court to compel INEC to allow them to obtain documents in its custody that were used for the presidential election.
Atiku and Obi argued that the requested documents would aid their petition against the outcome of the presidential contest that was declared in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.
However, INEC stated in its application that the materials requested by Atiku and Obi would be needed for the reconfiguration of the BVAS system ahead of future elections. The commission further argued that the current order granted to the PDP and LP candidates restrains it from accessing the materials for the purpose of the reconfiguration.
It remains to be seen how the Presidential Election Petition Court will rule on INEC’s application. Nevertheless, this development highlights the importance of transparency and fairness in elections, and the need for electoral bodies to take measures that ensure the integrity of the process.
Source: Channels TV
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