The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is seeking an order of the Court of Appeal to access sensitive materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.
His counsel, Akintola Makinde, said he would need to inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the electoral materials to enable him to prepare his defence against petitions seeking to nullify Tinubu’s election.
Makinde stated this on Tuesday at the day’s sitting in Abuja.
INEC had asked the Presidential Election Petition Court to vary the orders, which were earlier granted to the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi to inspect materials used for last presidential election.
At the day’s sitting, counsel for the LP, Onyechi Ikpeazu, said his team needs a physical inspection of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to enable them carry out a forensic assessment.
They also sought the preservation of the pieces of evidence, before the devices are reconfigured by INEC.
Counsel for INEC, Tanimu Inuwa, however, asked the court to dismiss the application on the ground that it will cause serious delay in the governorship election for March 11.
He argued that there are 176,000 polling units across the country, and each has its own unique BVAS machine, which needs to be reconfigured, adding that it will be difficult for them to reconfigure all within a short period of time.
He assured that no data will be lost, as they have transferred the data to their backend server.
The Court of Appeal Abuja had on March 3 granted the request by Obi and Atiku to have access to all the sensitive materials INEC deployed for the conduct of the presidential election held on February 25.
The applicants urged the court to compel INEC to allow them obtain documents in its custody that were used for the presidential election.
They maintained 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.
According to INEC, Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku who polled a total of 6,984,520 votes, and Obi, who came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.