The Presidential Election Petition Court on Thursday admitted in evidence data analysis of the February 25 presidential election results and their accompanying appendices. The court also admitted in evidence blurred results from 18,088 polling units from the results viewing portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The evidence was tendered by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in the February 25 presidential election. The LP and Obi are challenging the outcome of the election wherein Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared as the elected president by INEC.
During the resumed hearing on Thursday, counsel for the petitioners, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) conducted the proceedings on behalf of the LP and Obi. The Senior Advocate at the start of the sitting informed the court that he intended to call to the witness box a professor of Mathematics, Eric Ofoedu, to testify before the court.
The witness was said to have been engaged a few days before the election by the 2nd petitioner, LP to carry out an analysis of the data from the February 25 election. Admitted also in evidence were the letter addressed to Ofoedu seeking his service and the subpoena served on him to appear before the court.
The respondents in the suit namely, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Tinubu, his vice-president, Kashim Shettima, and the APC all objected to the admissibility of the documents. Specifically, counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), objected to the admissibility of the subpoena served on the witness but gave his consent to the court to admit the letter of engagement.
They all said that the reasons for their objections will be advanced at the later stage of the petition. Led in evidence by Ikpeazu SAN, the professor of mathematics tendered before the court, report of data analysis of the election, INEC Results Viewing scores investigation, separate data analysis of results in Rivers and Benue states. Besides the reports which were admitted and marked by the court as exhibits PCG1 – PVG3 respectively, the court also admitted in evidence blurred polling units results from IReV in 18,088 polling units across the country.
The witness was not cross-examined by the respondents as the five-man panel of the court headed by Justice Tsammani in a brief ruling moved the cross-examination to tomorrow, June 16 following the objections by the respondents that they were just served the witness statement a few minutes before the sitting.
The petitioners also summoned Arise News Television to appear before the court in aid of their petition against Tinubu. The witness was led in evidence by counsel to the petitioners, Patrick Ikweato SAN.
The TV station through a member of staff Lumnie Edevbie tendered in evidence a copy of a flash drive which contained a video clip showing INEC’s chairman, Yakubu Mahmoud giving a speech at Chatham’s house, in London on January 17.
In the speech, Mahmoud made a case for the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and the IRev as the commission’s biggest archive and repository of the results of the election.
The respondents objected to the admissibility of the clip, but the court admitted it and marked it as one of the exhibits in the petition. At the end of their allotted time, the court adjourned to June 16, the continuation of the hearing in the petition by LP and Obi.