INEC chair’s representative appears as witness in Atiku’s case, tenders documents


A representative of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday, appeared on a subpoena to tender electoral documents in the case filed by Atiku Abubakar to challenge the outcome of the 25 February presidential election.

The witness tendered tons of electoral documents before the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, which is conducting a hearing on the case.

The documents were used in the conduct of the 25 February presidential election.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had, through a subpoena, sought Mr Yakubu’s appearance before the court regarding his petition challenging President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February election.

But at the resumed hearing of the suit on Thursday, Mr Yakubu, a professor, delegated Moronkeji Tairu to honour the subpoena on his behalf.

Ms Tairu, a deputy director in charge of certification and complaint at INEC headquarters in Abuja, tendered electoral documents both in soft and hard copies before the court.

Led in evidence by Atiku’s lawyer, Chris Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ms Tairu tendered a series of results from the presidential election for the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Also, she presented a copy of the final declaration of results for the presidential election, which heralded Mr Tinubu’s victory on 1 March.

The witness further tendered certified true copies of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines report of the polls in Rivers and 36 other states, including the FCT.

Ms Tairu equally tendered BVAS machines data report of voters’ accreditation on the day of the presidential election across all the states of the federation.

Finally, she presented Form EC9, which contained Mr Tinubu’s biodata. Six flash drives in a white envelope containing electoral documents from Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones were tendered.

But Mr Uche informed the court that the INEC boss representative only tendered four of the eleven documents he requested from the electoral body.

He told the court that Mr Yakubu was yet to present the voter register used in the presidential election.

The lawyer reiterated that Atiku paid N6.7 million as fees to INEC to certify electoral documents.

INEC lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, did not object to the admissibility of the documents.

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However, Mr Tinubu’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, and APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, objected to the admissibility of the documents.

They did not cross-examine Ms Tairu but said reasons for their objection would be adduced at the close of arguments in the suit.

The court adjourned further hearing in the suit until Friday.

Ms Tairu brings Atiku’s total number of witnesses to 22.


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