PRESIDENTIAL POLLS: CPC ASKS TRIBUNAL TO DECLARE BUHARI WINNER
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has asked the Presidential Election Tribunal to enter judgment in favour of its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari on the grounds that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has flouted the order of the tribunal directing it to allow the party to inspect the materials used for the April 16 presidential election.
The action of the party was contained in a motion on notice brought pursuant to paragraphs 18 (11) of the 1st schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), section 145 (d) of the Evidence Act and under the inherent powers of the Tribunal.
In a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin and entitled, 'Aftermath of INEC'S intransigence: CPC files motion for judgment' the party specifically said it is seeking the following reliefs:
*An order of this Honourable Court entering Judgment in favor of the Petitioner in Petition No. CA/A/EPT/PRES/1/2011 under Paragraph 18 (11) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended and Section 149 of the Evidence Act on the ground that the order for inspection granted by this Honourable Court on the 24th day of May, 2011 is refusal or failure or neglect of the Respondent s to comply with the terms contained in the said order.
*And for such further or other orders as this Honourable Tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
The grounds upon which the application is based are:
*That the Petitioner was one of the registered political parties that contested the Presidential Election held on the 16th day of April, 2011 and had in consequence thereof demanded for election materials from the 1st Respondent vide series of letters written to that effect before, during and at the conclusion of the election.
*That 1st and 2nd Respondents denied the Petitioner's request by failing to make copies of the requested election materials available to the Applicant and the Applicant was as a result forced to file an application dated the 15th May, 2011 for an order directing the 1st and 2nd Respondents to produce for the inspection of the Applicants and permitting it to take copies of the election material used in the conduct of the election.
*That this Honourable Court had on the 24th day of May, 2011 granted an order pursuant to the application referred to in paragraph 2 above in the following terms:
*An order that INEC shall grant the Petitioner and any other party in the petition their counsel agents or experts access to the biometric Data Base created by the DDC machines for register of voters, used at the Presidential Election held on 16th April, 2011. INEC shall give notice to parties as to time, date and place for such exercise provided that the absence of a party duly notified shall not delay such exercise.
* AN ORDER that INEC shall grant access to the Petitioner and any other party to the petition, their counsel and their experts, to inspect and take certified True Copy (CTC) of election materials i.e.
a) Register of Voters used in all the Polling Units at Presidential Election held on 16/04/2011.
b) Electoral Forms EC8 A, B, C, D & E
c) Manual for the Election
d) List of Officials of INEC including adhoc staff who participated in the conduct of the election.
e) Records of Ballot papers distribution throughout the Federation.
f) Ballot papers used in the Presidential Election held on 16/04/2011.
B. Access for inspection and taking of copies of the election materials shall be at the statutory location of such election materials i.e.
(i) Custody of Resident Electoral Commissioners in various states.
(ii) Custody Chairman of INEC
Provided all necessary official fees for such certification are paid.
*That the Respondents have colluded to frustrate the execution of the Order and contended, among others, that they would not allow access to the database which they claimed is not necessary for the proof of the Petitioner's case.
*That even though the order for inspection was granted early enough in the proceeding, the Applicants' efforts to take advantage of the order was met with series of frustrations evidenced by exhibits 1 - 12.
The Tribunal had adjourned proceedings on the main appeal to August 15, 2011 at the instance of the party.