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Peter Obi

The legal team of the presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi, has expressed displeasure with Independent National Electoral Commission over “deliberate” refusal to allow its client to inspect presidential election materials.

They vowed to take legal action against the electoral umpire for disobeying the orders of the Court of Appeal.

Recall that the appellate court had issued an order allowing Obi, the LP as well as the Peoples Democratic Party to inspect materials used for the February 25 presidential election which INEC declared was won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress.

INEC, on March 6, filed a motion on notice asking the court to vacate the orders to enable the commission to reconfigure accreditation machines used for the election to enable their use for the forthcoming governorship and state assembly elections.

The appellate court, in its discretion, allowed INEC to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, but dismissed its application, saying that its earlier orders granting Obi access to electoral materials stands.

INEC, in apparent reaction to the ruling, stated, “we wish to reiterate that the Commission is not against litigants inspecting election materials. Consequently, it will continue to grant all litigants access to the materials they require to pursue their cases in court.”

But a member of Obi’s legal team, Alex Ejesieme SAN, said that the electoral umpire has not granted them access to election materials

He accused INEC of deliberately trying to delay Obi’s legal team from instituting a petition against the presidential election as prescribed by the Electoral Act, adding that the electoral umpire knows that accessing the election materials will expose alleged ballot rigging in the election.

“Yes. You know, what they are doing is deliberate. Ordinarily, the proper thing for us to do is to commence committal proceedings against the INEC chairman and the officers involved but remember, by the Electoral Act 2022, we are supposed to file a petition” he told THE WHISTLER in an interview on Saturday

“So, what they are trying to do is to divert attention,” Ejesieme said, adding, “We will take steps to mount pressure on them to allow us to have copies of the electoral materials in line with the order of the court of Appeal.”