The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) the list of local contractors engaged by the commission to print ballot papers used in the presidential election.
The tribunal had, on Tuesday, granted the application of CPC seeking its order directing INEC to allow it unfettered access to ballot papers and other electoral materials in the custody of the electoral body used in the April presidential election.
Based on agreement reached by the principal counsels to the Presidential Election Petition at their meeting on Monday, and brought to the court on Tuesday, the electoral body was ordered to give the CPC and its agents unfettered access to the database and the election materials used for the April 16 presidential elections.
Ayo Salami, chairperson of the tribunal, on Tuesday, said CPC's application was granted in view of the agreement reached by all the parties in the matter.
The CPC filed a petition at the tribunal to challenge the result of the April presidential poll, alleging irregularities and non-complaince with the 2010 electoral act. The party is contesting the result of the election in about 20 states of the federation and are to call 151 witnesses to prove its case.
Joined as defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 1st defendant; chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega (2nd defendant); winner of the election and Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan (3rd defendant); his deputy, Namadi Sambo (4th defendant); the Peoples Democratic Party (5th defendant) and the Resident Electoral Commissioners for the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, (6th-42nd respondent).
The tribunal granted an order yesterday "directing the 1st, 2nd, and 4th -42nd respondents to provide to the applicant for its use for its petition, the list of local contractors engaged by INEC to print ballot papers used in the Presidential Election and copies of contract papers used in Presidential Election and copies of contract papers executed by INEC evidencing the award of the contracts to them."
Following the agreement reached by the lead counsel, the tribunal also gave an order directing the 1st, 2nd and 6th to 42nd respondents to seal all the Direct Data Capturing Machines (DCC Machines), ballot papers, and ballot boxes used in the Presidential Election held on the 16th day of April, 2011 so as to preserve same for forensic test in the course of the petition to be filed shortly.
Provide results and data base
It also granted an order directing the 1st and 2nd respondents to produce for the inspection of the applicant and permitting the applicant to take copies of the documents/materials/ballot papers used in the conduct of the Presidential Election held on Saturday, the 16th day of April, 2011, as shown out in the schedule to this Motion.
Furthermore, it granted an order "directing the 1st and 2nd respondents to allow access to the petitioner, her solicitors, her agents and her biometric experts access to Biometric Data base of all registered voters in Nigeria in the presence of the respondents for the purpose of cross checking the finger prints on the face of the ballot papers cast in the states, local governments, wards, polling units in respect of complaints in this petition and to compare them with finger prints, entries in the Biometric Database already in the custody of 1st respondent, for the purpose of making analysis for use in evidence before the tribunal."
Mr Salami granted an order directing INEC to provide the CPC a list of accredited local and international observers for the purpose of monitoring the presidential elections. The tribunal further granted an order directing INEC to provide to CPC, for its use for its petition, un-coded EXCEL application templates used in computer summation of the result for the presidential election used across the nation on the 16th April, 2011.
It also directed INEC to provide to the CPC all the thumb printed ballot papers in all the polling units used across the nation in the presidential election of the 16th April, 2011.
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