Atiku Summons INEC Chairman, Secretary to Testify in Tribunal

Atiku Abubakar has summoned the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to testify in court. Atiku who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), subpoenaed him through his lawyer. The lead counsel to Atiku, Chris Uche, who addressed the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, said he had also summoned the Secretary to the commission, Mrs Rose Omoa Oriaran-Anthony. Atiku is challenging INEC’s declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25 presidential election. The petition resumed hearing with the lead counsel to Atiku informing the court that he was calling the first witness of the day, making him that the 19th witness to testify in the matter. The 19th witness is a star witness, was one Mr Alex Adumter, a lawyer and politician as well as the National Coordinator of the PDP Situation Room. However, members of counsel to the first respondent (INEC), the second and third respondents (Bola Tinubu/Shettima) and the fourth respondent (APC) raised objections to the admissibility of the witness’ statement on oath. However, counsel to the petitioner (Atiku) urged the court to discountenance the objection in its entirety. The court admitted the statement on oath, while it reserved ruling on the matter till judgement day. The star witness deposed to three statements on oath, which the court adopted. The witness also tendered, along with his statement on oath, three videos of the INEC Chairman, INEC commissioner Festus Okoye, and the European Union (EU) election observer mission, as evidence. Counsel to Atiku applied to the court for the video evidence to be played in the open court, an application the court granted. One of the videos contained a news conference of the INEC Chairman in which he promised real-time transmission of election results and the non-use of incidence forms as the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would be the only device to be used. Also tendered were copies of screenshots of the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) where the results were posted.