Tinubu seeks court order to obtain materials to defend mandate

...court to hear Labour Party, INEC on Wednesday


CITIZENS COMPASS– THE President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja, praying it to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant him access to sensitive materials it used for the presidential election.

He applied for the order on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Tinubu, through his lawyer, Mr Akintola Makinde, said he would need to inspect, scan and make photocopies of some of the electoral materials to enable him prepare his defence against petitions that would seek to nullify his election.

“The materials will be relevant in helping us to prepare our defence and also make comparison with the information contained in INEC’s back-end server”, Makinde added.

While Tinubu’s first ex-parte application, which was filed on March 6, has the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi as respondents, in the second application, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its own candidate, Atiku Abubakar, were cited as respondents, alongside INEC.


The appellate court, which will sit as the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, deferred ruling on Tinubu’s application till Wednesday.


Court to hear Labour Party, INEC on Wednesday 


THE Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has slated Wednesday, March 8, 2023, to consider the merit of the application the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), filed to be allowed to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, it used for the just concluded presidential election.

A three-member panel of the appellate court adjourned to rule on the application, on a day the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate, Mr Peter Obi, filed a fresh application to be allowed to conduct a physical inspection of all the BVAS that was used for the presidential poll.


Olanipekun, others to defend Tinubu’s mandate


One-time President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Wole Olanipekun will lead 49 other lawyers to defend the mandate of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu at the presidential election tribunal.


Olanipekun, a senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN, will lead other legal luminaries to ensure that Tinubu prevails over his arch contenders, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who have challenged his victory.

Tinubu, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged the winner of the presidential election held on Saturday, February 25, with 8, 794,726 votes to beat Atiku and Obi to the second and third positions with 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 scores respectively.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, presented him with a Certificate of Return last week Wednesday.

But, Obi and Atiku rejected the results arguing that the elections were marred with irregularities, and vowed to take their grievances to court.

However, Tinubu’s legal representatives are waiting to be served with the petitions of the candidates of the PDP’s Atiku and the LP’s Obi.

But the first and second runners-up have sought leave of the tribunal to inspect some election materials used for the poll.


There were indications that some PDP governors may join in the case before the tribunal to testify that the poll was free and fair in their states.

Investigations revealed that some of the 50 SANs were said to have opted for free service to actualise Tinubu’s mandate.

It was learnt that a few of them joined the team based on the conviction that the presidential election was the “freest and fairest” in the country’s history with large-scale upsets.

Some of them are former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi,  Yusuf Ali, Lateef Fagbemi, A.U. Mustapha, Ahmed Raji, Abiodun Owonikoko, Kemi Pinheiro, Niyi Akintola and H.M. Liman.

Others are: Taiwo Osipitan, Babatunde Ogala, Roland Otaru, James Onoja, Muiz Banire, Olusola Oke and a former Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar.

  • A source, who spoke in confidence, said:

    Buoyed by patriotism and the need to protect the sanctity of the ballot, about 50 SANs have signed up to defend the mandate of Asiwaju Tinubu. The figure may be more in the next few days.

“Some of these legal giants have either not met with Tinubu or seeking any favour from him. They believe that the February 25  poll was credible and the best in the history of Nigeria.”

The source added: “In spite of the noise in the media, both Atiku and Obi have not served Tinubu and APC a copy of any petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

“But the defence team of Tinubu will meet on Tuesday (today) in Lagos ahead of allowing Atiku and Obi to get their acts together.”

Section 130 (1, 2and 3) of the Electoral Act 2022 says: “ “No election and return at any election under this Act shall be questioned in any manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or undue return presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the constitution or of this Act and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.

“In this part, ‘tribunal’ means-(a) in the case of the presidential election, the Court of Appeal; and (b) in the case of any other elections under this Act, the election tribunal established under the Constitution or by this Act.

“The election tribunals shall-(a) be constituted not later than 30 days before the election; and (b) when constituted, open their registries for business seven days before the election.”

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