Supreme Court rejects Atiku, PDP’s request to access ‘INEC server‎’

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday suffered another set back as the Supreme Court dismissed its appeal to access INEC server.

Specifically, the PDP and Atiku had, in the appeal marked SC/815/2019, sought to reverse the decision by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), rejecting their request to inspect a supposed central server purportedly used for the last presidential election.

In a unanimous judgment on Tuesday, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Datijo Mohammed, held that the appeal was a waste of time and without basis.

Justice Chima Nweze, who read the lead judgment, said: “I see no reason for departing from the reasoning of the lower court. I find that this appeal is without merit, and it is accordingly, dismissed.”

Other members of the panel – Justices Mohammed, Kumai Akaahs, Paul Galumje and Uwani Abba-Aji agreed with the lead judgment.

It would be recalled that the PEPC had on June 24, 2019 dismissed an application by Atiku and the PDP requesting permission to have access to the central server, which they claimed INEC used for the February 23 poll.

The PEPC had, while dismissing the application by Atiku and the PDP, held that INEC, having denied the existence of the said server and insisted that results of the election were not electronically transmitted into any server as claimed by the petitioners (Atiku and PDP), granting the application would amount to deciding the central issue in the petition at the interlocutory stage.

The court’s Presiding Justice, Justice Mohammed Garba added that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC).”
It is the decision of June 24 that Atiku and the PDP appealed at the Supreme Court, in the appeal marked SC/815/2019.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court struck out another appeal by the PDP and Atiku, who was the party’s candidate in the last presidential election.

The appeal marked SC/739/2019 was filed against a ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), in which it held that Atiku and the PDP do not have a reply to an application filed on May 14, 2019 by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking among others, the dismissal of their (Atiku and the PDP) challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the last presidential election.

In a ruling on Tuesday, a five-man panel led by Justice Datijo Mohammed struck out the appeal for having become statute-barred

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