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INEC, LP clash over access to election materials

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On Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), reacted to the statement by the legal team of the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi, suggesting that the commission had refused to respond to the subpoenas served on them.

The LP and Obi are challenging the outcome of the presidential election wherein Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared winner.

The petition had during previous proceedings accused INEC of denying them access to some sensitive documents which they need to prove their allegation that Tinubu did not win the poll.

While moving the motion for adjournment of the hearing on Wednesday afternoon, counsel for the petitioners, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), again complained to the Presidential Election Petition Court that despite the effort made INEC has “consistently refused…the subpoena to produce documents.”

Displeased with the statement that implied that his client was uncooperative, counsel for INEC, Kemi Pinhero (SAN), said, “Don’t use INEC as a whipping boy.”

Pinhero said: “It has become a habit for them to look for somebody to whip. I am not privy to any discussion he has had with A.B. Mahmoud.

“It can’t be true that the receipt or the subpoenae were refused.”

“It has become a habit for them to blame INEC or say that INEC has refused to release documents to them.

“It is not correct that the office of the chairman will refuse to respond to the subpoena. The Chairman of INEC has no interest whatsoever. It is unfair to INEC.

“If they have nothing else to do today, they should just say it.”

Following the argument between the two parties, the Presidential Election Petition Court headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani advised them to calm their frayed nerves.

The court thereafter adjourned the matter to June 15 for continuation of the hearing.

Meanwhile, the tribunal adjourned the petition by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, till today (Thursday).

The PDP and Atiku are also disputing the outcome of the presidential election at the PEPC which produced Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as the elected president.

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