The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, responded to a statement made by the Labour Party’s legal team and its candidate, Peter Obi, in which they claimed that the commission had declined to answer to subpoenas that had been served on them.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election, but the LP and Obi are contesting that outcome.
The appeal by LP had previously accused INEC of withholding access to some private documents that they needed to substantiate their claim that Tinubu had lost the election.
On Wednesday afternoon, the petitioners’ attorney, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), moved to adjourn the hearing and again complained before the Presidential Election Petition Court that INEC had “consistently refused…the subpoena to produce documents” despite their efforts.
Displeased with the statement that implied that his client was uncooperative, counsel for INEC, Kemi Pinhero (SAN), said, “Don’t use INEC as a whipping boy.”
Pinhero said, “It has become a habit for them to look for somebody to whip. I am not privy to any discussion he has had with A.B. Mahmoud.
“It can’t be true that the receipt or the subpoenae were refused.
“It has become a habit for them to blame INEC or say that INEC has refused to release documents to them.
“It is not correct that the office of the chairman will refuse to respond to the subpoena. The Chairman of INEC has no interest whatsoever. It is unfair to INEC.
“If they have nothing else to do today, they should just say it.”
The Presidential Election Petition Court, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, gave the two parties advice on how to calm their ruffled nerves after their disagreement.
The hearing was then continued when the court deferred the case to June 15.
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