The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23, presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his party Tuesday formally kick-started their petition challenging the conduct and outcome of the election which produced President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for a second term of four years, with an ex-parte motion filed at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, asking for various orders of the court to allow him access all documents used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the pool.
The ex-parte motion is praying for an order compelling INEC to allow them Inspect the register and other vital documents used in the conduct of the election unhindered.
In the ex-parte motion dated March 4 and filed March 5, Atiku and the PDP applied that the Appellate Court serving as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to compel the electoral body to allow their agents to scan and make photocopies of vital documents used in the last presidential election for the purpose of maintaining their petition against the election.
The ex-parte application filed by Atiku’s counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN, has INEC, President Muhamadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as respondents.
Specifically, the ex-parte motion indicated that the order requested against INEC is for the purpose of filing and maintaining election petition before the tribunal.
The ex-parte motion according to findings is supported with a 12 paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Colonel Austin Akobundu (Rtd.), a Director of Contact and Mobilization in the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council.
Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the motion.
When Nigeria Everyday (www.everyday.ng) visited the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division serving as the presidential election petition tribunal, a functional registry and Secretariat had been opened for the purpose of receiving Petitions from aggrieved presidential candidates against the last presidential election.
Atiku and PDP who scored over 11m votes to come second in the February 23 presidential election as against the over 15m votes declared by INEC for Buhari and APC have indicated their desire to challenge the conduct and outcome of the election at the tribunal on the grounds that the poll was heavily manipulated and rigged for the declared winners.
Specifically, the grouse of Atiku and PDP was that the results collated by them from polling units across the country were quite different from those recorded for the declared winners by INEC.