Obi vs Tinubu: INEC Continues to Delay Legal Proceedings as Tribunal Adjourns

After what most Nigerians and beyond adjudged as a sham declaration of a president-elect in the February 25 presidential election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has continued in its hide and seek game of evidently trying to scuttle transparent processes of legal engagements in challenge of their controversial announcement.

On May 10, all parties (the two petitioners and four respondents) involved in the Obi vs Tinubu case in the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT holding in Abuja agreed to use the one week duration to meet and agree on applications/motions to tender before the court instead of spending valuable time arguing in court to determine relevant and irrelevant applications.

The first Respondent, INEC, however refused to comply to the petitioners’ lawful demand of vital documents that would aide compliance to that agreement reached seven days earlier.

When the parties reconvened in court today being May 17, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, leading HE Peter Obi’s counsel as well as Labour Party’s, told the Tribunal that INEC, has refused to release 70% of the documents they were obligated to release to the petitioners by law.

_*”If they do not have anything to hide, why are they not giving us the required documents as they should?” quipped the lead counsel before the court.*_

_*Revealing further, Dr. Uzoukwu added, “in the case of Rivers State, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC blatantly refused to give us anything.”*_

The Petitioners insisted that without the documents that they would not be able to honour agreements regarding applications as earlier proposed. They informed the court that they intended to apply for a subpoena to summon INEC to release the relevant documents. And based on that the Petitioners asked time to enable them sort that out.

The Tribunal adjourned to Friday May 19, even though the Respondents led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN asked for farther date. Insisting on the 48-hour date, the Tribunal reminded the Respondents that they served their processes late and should not be asking for more time.

May 19 is another date. POEM will keep reporting.

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