BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
Hearing in the petition of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar against the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was abruptly adjourned Tuesday by the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja due to alleged refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make some critical electoral materials available to him.
The court shifted further hearing in the petition till June 7 pending the time the electoral body is expected to have.responded to the request of Atiku and the People’s Democratic Party PDP for documents supply.
At Tuesday’s proceedings, Eyitayo Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN who conducted proceedings for Atiku had sought to tender forms EC8A from 10 out of 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State to establish the petition against Tinubu.
The exhibits mainly documents used for the February 25 Presidential Election are those from Ankpa, Dekina, Idah, Ofu, Olamaboro, Yagba East, Yagba West, Kabba-Bunu, Igalamela Odolu and Kogi were sought to be tendered by the PDP presidential candidate.
Although, the schedule of documents to the effect was filed along with the exhibits, the Court however noted that tendering such sensitive exhibits in piece meals would not be of any help especially in the areas of marking and numbering them.
Jegede who rose to the questions put to him by the Court stood his grounds and blamed the INEC for deliberate refusal to supply his client with the vital documents.
The Senior lawyer hinted the Court that Atiku had paid as much as N6M for the supply of cerified true copy of the exhibits lamented that the electoral body had not been forthcoming and cooperating as required and envisaged.
Jegede explained that to save the situation, the legal team of the former Vice President had to subpoena top officials of INEC to compel them to bring the required documents before the Court on their own.
However in the end, the senior lawyer sought for a 24- hour adjournment to enable him approach the electoral body to do the needful.
Following no objections from counsel to respondents, INEC represented by Abubakar Mahmud SAN, Tinubu represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN and the All Progressives Congress APC having Lateef Fagbemi SAN as lead counsel, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani adjourned the matter till June 7.