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Atiku, PDP seek release of election materials

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Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate for the nation’s highest office, Atiku Abubakar, have filed a motion before the 2019 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal seeking an order to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make available for inspection the materials used for the February 23 polls.

In an ex parte application dated March 4, 2019, the petitioners prayed the tribunal to compel the electoral body to allow them inspect the smart card readers, ballot papers, voter registers and other relevant documents used during the exercise for the purposes of establishing alleged irregularities.

Filed by Chris Uche (SAN), the application was accompanied by a 12-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the Director of Contact and Mobilisation, Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council, Colonel Austin Akobundu (rtd).

This comes as the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) wrote the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) urging them to prevail upon the Waziri Adamawa “to jettison his plan of going to court to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.”

In the separate letters addressed to the heads of EU and AU observation missions in Nigeria, the support group stated that the international bodies must act fast to save Nigeria’s democracy from what it described as “Atiku’s conduct despite the reports of fairness in the polls.”

However, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has refuted claims that it petitioned international organisations to dissuade the former vice president from heading for the tribunal.

In a statement, its spokesman, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said: “Our investigation reveals that a letter to that effect was purportedly written by a certain ‘Buhari Campaign Organisation’. This is the second time we will be informing the public that the said ‘Buhari Campaign Organisation’ does not act at the behest of the APC Presidential Campaign Council nor does it represent the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation in any way. As a result, whatever it has released does not represent the position of the APC PCC or President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The council maintained that Atiku has a constitutional right to seek redress if he so desired, adding: “The resort to court is the only democratic way to ventilate his perceived grievance and any attempt to restrict or discourage the exercise of such right would be an invitation to anarchy.”


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