The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 Presidential election, Mr Peter Obi and his party on Thursday sought an order of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja to interrogate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the experts on Information and Communication Technology ICT) used for the conduct of the election.
In two separate motions argued on behalf of the petitioners by Patrick Ikweto, (SAN), they sought to know the quality of the ICT experts deployed in the use of technology for the conduct of the presidential election.
In the two motions, Obi and LP prayed the court to compel INEC to supply them with names and profiles of the ICT personnel that handled the technical aspects of the election.
They posed 12 questions to be forwarded to the electoral body for answers so as to aid them in establishing their allegations of gross violation of the constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC’s guidelines in the conduct of the election.
The petitioners claimed that the request if granted would assist them in the effective presentation of their petition challenging the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the election.
However, INEC represented by Kemi Pinhero objected to Obi’s bid to subject his client to interrogation through incompetent applications.
Pinhero argued that Obi’s applications had become belated because he brought them outside the time allowed by law.
He specifically argued that such an application ought to have been brought and argued during the pre-hearing session, adding that bringing the application outside the pre-hearing session has robbed the court of the jurisdiction to hear it.
The senior lawyer insisted that the application must fail because it is a waste of time, adding that the precious time of the court must not be expended on such a request.
President Tinubu represented by Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), represented by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), in their submissions, kicked against granting of the request, insisting that the application is grossly incompetent in the face of the law.
Meanwhile, the presiding Justice of the five-member panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani has reserved the ruling in the applications and fixed Friday, June 9 for further hearing in the petition.
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