The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has declined the application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar to inspect the server and the smart card reader used for the February 23 presidential election.
The five member panel of justices reached this decision unanimously to refuse the application during its ruling yesterday.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba, in the main ruling stated that acceptance of such application will be lending credence to the fact that a central server exist.
“The scenario will be unpalatable and will create the impression that the court has indeed recognised the existence of a central server and that the result was electronically transmitted.
“The law is settled that the court should ensure caution while dealing with the interlocutory application so as not to make any observation that affect the substantive case”, the tribunal held.
Atiku in the petition by his team of lawyers led by Levy Uzoukwu (SAN) had contended that data from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s server contains “the true, actual and correct results upon a state to state computation.”
Atiku claimed that he polled 18,356,732 votes while President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got 16, 741,430 votes. This is against the 15,191,847 votes for Buhari and 11,262,978 votes to Atiku, which INEC claimed it manually computed for the election.
Following the conclusion of the ruling, a counsel in the legal team of Atiku, Chris Uche (SAN) had indicated that the team would challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court, arguing that Section 151 of the Electoral Act permits the inspection of all materials used for the election.