The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously dismissed an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, seeking access to the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Dattijo Muhammad-led five-man panel gave the ruling, saying there was no basis to interfere with the earlier decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which had rejected the appellants’ request to access the said server.
Justice Centus Nweze, who read the lead judgment of the apex court, said the appellants failed to establish that the tribunal wrongfully exercised its discretion in refusing their request.
He also said that they failed to place sufficient materials before the apex court to show that the tribunal’s exercise of its discretion was either arbitrary or illegal.
The claim by the appellants that they were denied fair hearing at the tribunal was unsubstantiated, he added.
Atiku and PDP had claimed in their petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that the “authentic” results of the February 23, 2019 election which gave them victory were stored in the said INEC server.
The petitioners are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, 2019 election.