The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing until Aug. 20, in an application filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal’s rejection of their request to access the INEC “central server”.
Concise News reports that the Peoples Democratic Party and Atiku had alleged that the ”server” housed the results of the poll electronically transmitted by the Independent National Electoral Commission during the February 23 exercise.
However, the tribunal denied them access to the server and data of smart card reader the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) allegedly used to compute the results of the 2019 presidential election.
Atiku and the PDP indicated their intention to challenge the ruling shortly after the presiding justice of the five-man panel, Justice Mohammed Garba, rejected their application to inspect the materials.
Through their counsel, the petitioners held that section 151 of the Electoral Act allows them to inspect materials used by INEC for the election.
But Justice Garba held that granting their application for access to the server and data of the smart card would imply that the court had delved into and resolved the contentious issue of the existence of a central server at INEC.
According to him, doing so would further create the impression that the tribunal had concluded that there is a central server where results of the February 23 election were received and stored.
According to the figures allegedly obtained from the server, Atiku said he scored 18, 356,732 votes against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 16, 741,430 votes.
A senior lawyer on the PDP and Atiku’s legal team Mike Ozekhome (SAN) had said that INEC, through its Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, had on several occasions before and during the election said there was a central server where results would be electronically transmitted to.
He added that INEC officials, including one of the spokespersons of the APC, Festus Keyamo (SAN), had one time or the other attested to the existence of the central server.