The Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, admitted the 2023 presidential election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) chairman, Yakubu Mahmoud, as an exhibit in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against the electoral victory of President Bola Tinubu.
The results were admitted following an oral application by the PDP lawyer, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.
Jegede also applied to tender as evidence, INEC Forms EC8A (which is the summary of presidential election results), Form EC8E series for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, INEC Certified documents in respect of number of PVCs collected for 2023 presidential election and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System BVAS machine printed report for the 36 states including FCT.
The court then asked the lawyers representing INEC, Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress if they have any objection to the documents that the PDP sought to tender.
Responding, INEC’s counsel, A.B. Mahmoud SAN, did not object to the certified copy of the final results declared by the INEC chairman.
But he said he would object to the other documents because they were bulky and needed to be appropriately numbered.
On his part, Tinubu’s legal team led by Wole Olanipekun SAN did not consent to the admission of the BVAS reports.
He contended that the BVAS reports are more like evidence that needs to be vetted by them before it can be admitted.
The legal team for the APC also aligned with the submission of Tinubu’s lawyer, Olanipekun.
Nevertheless, the five-man panel of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani admitted all the documents tendered by the PDP while taking note of the respondents’ refusal to give consent to its admission.
The court subsequently adjourned to Wednesday for continuation of hearing.
Recall that in its pre-hearing report, the PEPC had ordered that all INEC certified documents be admitted and not objected to at the point of admission, as agreed by parties.
According to the court, this was to fast-track the case.