INEC Commences Review of 2023 General Election, Amidst Legal Challenges and Allegations of Electoral Malpractices

INEC Commences Review of 2023 General Election, Amidst Legal Challenges and Allegations of Electoral Malpractices

…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.

Review of the 2023 General Election by INEC Chairman and RECs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, along with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), has commenced a review of the recently concluded 2023 general election.

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This election review, as previously announced by INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye, began today at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja and is expected to continue until August 5.

Following the review, the commission will also hold a retreat to further discuss the election activities.

Challenges to the Election Results

It is worth noting that INEC had declared Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25.

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However, two primary challengers to the APC candidate, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have filed petitions in court to contest the declaration made by INEC.

In their petitions, they have raised allegations of electoral malpractices, voter suppression, violence, concerns regarding the efficiency of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV), and have contended that the election was not conducted freely and fairly.

INEC’s Defence in the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal

In the ongoing proceedings before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented its defence against the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP).

During the hearing, INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), called a sole witness, Dr. Lawrence Bayode, who serves as a Deputy Director in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department of INEC.

Under cross-examination, the witness stated that even if blurred documents were downloaded from the IREV, it would not impact the physical results recorded in Forms EC8As, which remain clear.

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Bayode further clarified that the images of Forms EC8A captured with BVAS and transmitted to IREv were not relevant for the collation of results.

He also assured the court that the technical glitch experienced during the previous presidential election did not affect the collation of results.

Conclusion of INEC’s Defence

Following the testimony of the witness, the INEC lawyer announced the closure of the first respondent’s (INEC’s) case before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Additionally, Mahmoud submitted several documents as evidence during the proceedings.

Upcoming Defence by President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettma

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Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the lawyer representing President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettma, stated that his clients would present their defence in the petition on Wednesday.

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