Presidential election tribunal subpoenas Yakubu, Zamfara REC
• Atiku, PDP accuses INEC of frustrating their petition
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has ordered the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Zamfara State to appear before it today.
They are to come before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member tribunal with some documents relevant to the ongoing hearing in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The petitioners have approached the panel, challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 23, 2019 polls. They are arguing that the total number of votes declared by INEC in favor of Buhari did not align with the figures transmitted electronically to the electoral umpire’s central server.
According to Atiku and PDP, information at their disposal showed that PDP defeated the APC with about 1.6 million votes.But INEC has dismissed the position, insisting that it did not transmit the election results electronically.
In an attempt to controvert INEC, Atiku and PDP’s legal team has listed over 400 witnesses to testify within 10 days that terminate today. At the resumed proceedings yesterday, counsel to the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), accused INEC of deliberately frustrating the case. Uche told the tribunal that both Yakubu and the Zamfara REC had ignored a subpoena duly served on them to appear with specific documents relevant to the petition.
In his ruling, Justice Garba noted that records before the tribunal showed that the INEC boss was served the subpoena on July 15. The panel maintained that the pair have statutory duties to obey the subpoena issued to them. Consequently, it ordered Yakubu and the Zamfara State REC to appear with the required documents by 12noon today.