Court grants Bauchi PDP, NNPP leave to inspect election materials

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The Governorship, National and State House of Assembly Election Tribunal, sitting in Bauchi, on Saturday, granted leave to Garba Dahiru of the PDP, to access sensitive materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Feb. 25 NASS election in the state.

Dahiru contested and lost the Bauchi South Senatorial District election to Shehu Umar of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as declared by INEC.

A three-member panel, led by Justice Wilfred Kpochi, gave the order in Bauchi, following an ex-parte application filed by the candidate and his party.

Those involved in the matter are Shehu Umar and his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as well as INEC.

Earlier, the Lead Counsel to the applicant, Alex Hassan, had prayed the court to compel INEC to allow his client to obtain documents in the Commission’s custody used for the election.

He said the documents would aid his petition against the emergence of APC’s Umar as winner of the election.

In his ruling, Kpochi said that the application had merit and was granted accordingly.

He, therefore, ordered INEC to make available all the election materials used for the conduct of the Bauchi South Senatorial District election to the applicant, his agents and counsel.

“The petitioners are to take certified copies and conduct manual and physical inspection of all the electoral materials used in the conduct of the Bauchi South Senatorial District election held on the 25th February, 2023,” he said.

Meanwhile, the tribunal also granted leave to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate, Mijinyawa Mohammed, to access election materials deployed by INEC for the Bauchi North Senatorial District election.

The petitioner, through his Counsel, Yaldami Gambo, said the order would enable him and his party to inspect all the election materials used by the electoral umpire in preparing their petition.

Also cited as respondent in the matter is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

While granting the order, Justice Wilfred Kpochi said that the application has merit.

He, therefore, granted a leave to the petitioner and his counsel to approach INEC and take certified copies of the election materials used in the Feb. 25 Bauchi North Senatorial District election.