The ruling of the Presidential Election Tribunal, which rejected the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s request to inspect the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) server, has been applauded by the Presidency.
The tribunal on Monday, had in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel of justices led by Justice Mohammed Garba, held that the request could not be granted since the issue of whether such central server existed or not, is already a subject of controversy in the substantive petition that is challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
Responding in a statement on Monday on night, by President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said:
“What this means is that Justice and fair hearing through due contest by the parties of a major issue for determination remains sacrosanct and remains considerable by the tribunal upon according parties just and fair hearing and not the other way round.
“The election petitions tribunal unanimously rejected the PDP’s request to inspect a server which existence is being disputed.
“The existence of a purported server is being contested and if a purported inspection had been allowed at this stage, it would have amounted to the determination that it indeed existed even when its existence is being contested.
“The electoral law prescribes manual transmission of results only and this was what the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did, in obedience to the law as witnessed by real electoral observers.”