We’ve nothing to hide –INEC chairman
From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said the commission has nothing to hide and that it would make available all necessary electoral materials and documents to LP for inspection to facilitate their case at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
He stated this when the legal team and top officials of LP visited INEC headquarters to request access to electoral documents used for the February 25 presidential election.
“Please be assured the lead counsel that INEC has nothing to hide; whatever you’re asking for, will be made available to you,” he said.
Yakubu said a meeting had been scheduled with all resident electoral commissioners across the 37 states to discuss how to provide documents and materials to LP and other parties requesting it. He said whatever litigants were looking for would be provided by the commission at the national and state levels.
“There are two categories of documents, those that are in the possession of the headquarters of INEC will easily make these documents available to you. Specifically the EC8Ds from the states and the ECD A, which is the collation at the national collection centre by the commission itself. The EC8E ,the declaration, so many, a total of I think 39 documents, this we can easily certify and give you almost immediately.
“As for other documents that you are asking for, they are at the state level. So we need to work out the schedule so that we know when your team is going to which state, and on which date, so that we can easily facilitate not just the certification of the documents, but also the inspection that you requested for each of these documents.
“The other one is accreditation data from the back end. This will also be made available to you. Remember that the accreditation data covers over 176,000 polling units. We have to print them physically, certify them, and give them to you ,so the tall and short of what I’m saying is that you will get this documents speedily. They will also make arrangements and notify our resident electoral commissioner of your intended visits so that these documents will be made available to you
Yakubu implored the legal team to interface with INEC’s legal team on how to inspect documents they need for their case.
Head, legal counsel of LP, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), who led the team of lawyers to the commission, insisted on inspecting all relevant documents used for the presidential poll. He lamented that INEC had refused to release materials and documents used for the election despite an Appeal Court order and letter from the party to INEC.
“Not making the documents available will create the impression that INEC is deliberately frustrating us to make sure that we cannot prosecute this petition,” he said.
Uzoukwu said election petition is time sensitive as partied has just 21 days to file their petition.
“Out of that 21 days, we probably have about 10 days to go. And up till now, we have not received any documents,” he said.