INTERVIEW: How We’ll Prove That 2023 Presidential Election Was ‘Rigged’ – Obi’s Lead Counsel

Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, is leading the legal team of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who is challenging the electoral process of the 2023 presidential election.

In 2006, he led a court case that restored Obi as the duly elected governor of Anambra State.

In this interview with our correspondent, he shares his convictions that Obi’s team will prove that the 2023 presidential election was rigged.

What Are We Looking Forward To In This Case?

We have to prepare the petition, when we finish, we will serve the other side. They will have to reply and send it to us.

What’s Your Reaction On Inspection Of INEC Materials Used For The Presidential Election?

The court allowed us to inspect the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machine report.

The only thing the court said was that INEC had to reconfigure the BVAS machines.

I think it is the language and the suspicion in Nigeria; reconfiguration doesn’t mean that you delete. They have to reconfigure it for a fresh election and that’s a normal thing. We can inspect now.

How Do You And Your Team Intend To Inspect Over 170,000 BVAS Machines To Prove Your Case?

Well, you know there are many election materials and you can use some to sustain your case; it doesn’t mean you have to use all of them at the same time.

There are alternatives. The Form EC8A (INEC sheet for collation of results), for instance, which is the polling unit results has several dimensions; the electronic version is also there.

So, the important thing is we have them, access them and make a case out of them.

You cannot even rely on just BVAS, the machine is just for electronic accreditation of figures, data. You have to rely primarily on the results at the polling units, then you now use BVAS to justify it or impugn it.

But the baseline are the results at the polling units and the various stages of collation to ensure that what was collated should rhyme with what was computed at the polling units based on the votes cast.

You Have Confidence That the Courts Will Do Justice To Your Case?

I’m a lawyer. The only thing I can do is to put in my best for my client. I’m not a party but I know that we are going to do our best. The other side will also do their best, they have very fine, very fine lawyers.

I’m sure we are going to put up the best and we hope that in the end, there will be a fair evaluation of our evidence.

My role as a lawyer is to do the best for my client based on the available evidence and at the end, if we succeed, it is by the grace of God. The other side will also be seeking the grace of God too.

But the good thing is that we hope that Nigeria will be better for it.

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