By Teslim Olawore
The Supreme Court on Tuesday has suspended proceedings to rule on the controversial INEC server.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar had approached the apex court seeking permission to be allowed access to a supposed server.
Atiku and PDP are insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC used a central server where the results of the 2019 general elections were transmitted.
Recall that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) had on June 24, 2019, dismissed an application by Atiku and the PDP requesting permission to have access to the said central server.
It is the June 24 decision of the Tribunal that Atiku and the PDP appealed at the Supreme Court.
The Justice Datijo Mohammed-led panel of the Supreme Court, after taking arguments from Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, (for the appellants); Yunus Usman, SAN, (for INEC); Wole Olanipekun, SAN, (for President Muhammadu Buhari) and Charles Edosomwan, SAN, (for the All Progressives Congress), rose briefly to consider the arguments and return for its decision.
The Tribunal, at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, had, while dismissing the application by Atiku and the PDP, held that INEC had denied the existence of the said server and insisted that results of the election were not electronically transmitted into any server as claimed by the petitioners, adding that granting the application of PDP and Atiku would amount to deciding the central issue in the petition at the interlocutory stage.
The court’s Presiding Justice, Mohammed Garba, who read the ruling, added that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019, were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC).”