INEC not releasing needed I-ReV reports to us -Obi/LP tells court

Labour Party and its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi in the February 25, presidential election, on Monday, told the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has refused to release most of the I-ReV reports it sought to prosecute its petition.

Obi and LP are challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by INEC as winner of the poll.

Respondents in the matter are Tinubu, APC, INEC and Kashim Shettima.

At the resumed hearing in the matter on Monday, one of the counsel to Obi/LP, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, brought to the notice of court, the continuous refusal of INEC to obey court orders and despite all efforts being made to get I-ReV reports sought, only a few local government areas in Lagos and Gombe states had been received by the petitioners.

He said: “This segment is to formally bring to the notice of the court, the excruciating experience we are having from INEC.

Peter Obi, Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate

“We have done everything humanly possible, including persuasion and letter writing. We decided to seek the help of the court.”

He said that the petitioners only received few copies of I-ReV reports from few local government areas of Lagos.

“We have consistently written letters to INEC, including the one I wrote personally on May 20, detailing all the documents we wanted.

“This proceedings is time bound. We have paid for the documents and INEC is supposed to give us the documents that we need.

“We are crying to your Lordships as we have no where to run to. It appears that INEC is deliberately frustrating the proceedings,” he added.

On his part, Obi/LP lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu also brought to the notice of the court, the dishonesty of INEC in producing requested documents by the petitioners.

He appealed for cooperation between counsel for the interest of the profession.

But INEC counsel denied that the petitioners raised such issue with him before the commencement of the proceeding, adding that there was no reason to deny Obi and the LP any document they want, once they follow the laid down procedure for obtaining documents from INEC.

INEC lawyer said that Obi and LP do want to follow the procedures.’

The court remarked that its interest was to be fair and deliver justice to parties.

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All respondents agreed to meet and cooperate with the petitioners.

Earlier, the 7th witness, Mpeh Clarita Ogar, was called up but respondents said they won’t cross-examine her because her witness statement on oath was served to them at the commencement of the day hearing.

The court agreed for examination in Chief to be done but cross examination by respondents to be done on Tuesday.

The witness, a female cloud Engineer and Architect With Amazon Web Services, AWS, and her Subpoena was tendered in evidence, opposed by respondents, but admitted by court and tagged with an Exhibit Number

The witness in her Witness Statement on Oath, made reference to 33 reports showing the health status of Amazon Web Services’ Cloud in 6 Regions, where Amazon hosts services as well as certificate of compliance.

The company was engaged by INEC to provide technical support to it during the general elections.

She told the court that there was no technical glitch across all the six continents housing AWS cloud services on February 25, 2023, contrary to claims by INEC.

Further hearing continued Tuesday.

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