As President Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) open their defence tomorrow at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation yesterday warned the electoral umpire against tampering with INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) to give 25 per cent of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and their presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, respectively, had closed their cases penultimate Friday.
But a statement issued yesterday by the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation alleged that INEC was trying to yield to pressure to tinker with the results of some states, including the FCT to enable the ruling APC to be in good standing.
The statement, which was signed by the Head of the Media Office of the campaign organisation, Mr. Diran Onifade, quoted the Campaign Manager of the organisation, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze as saying in a tweet that intelligence reports showed that INEC was trying to tinker with the declared results of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
Onifade said: “According to our source, INEC is tempering with the machines used in the election to adjust FCT results to give the APC candidate, the much-needed 25 per cent, which he did not get as per the initial INEC declaration and for which he is being challenged at the Presidential election tribunal.
“It’s not clear how the electoral commission can brazenly carry out such bizarre action but given the abracadabra they did to announce the APC Candidate winner by 4 a.m., there is nothing to be taken for granted.
“Obaze warns that INEC and the ruling APC may be taking the adherence to the rule of law and due process disposition of Nigerians in general and the ‘Obidient’ movement in particular for granted, but it would be courting catastrophe for them to want to pour salt into an open wound inflicted on Nigeria’s electorate.
“The former United Nations diplomat reminded INEC that what they are trying to do is tantamount to raising a dead horse and that whether reports were fake or real, the commission should know the level of public confidence in them has long eroded,” Onifade added.
The PDP and the LP, as well as their candidates, have since closed their case against Tinubu and the APC, while the ruling party, its candidate, and the electoral umpire will open their defence tomorrow.
Before the commencement of the hearing, the two political parties and their candidates had disclosed that they had lined up 150 witnesses for their cases.
While Atiku and PDP said they would line up 100 witnesses to give evidence in support of their joint petitions challenging the outcome of the election, Obi and LP told the court that they would call 50 witnesses.
However, while closing their cases on June 21, the two political parties and their candidates ended up presenting 40 witnesses in total.
Atiku and PDP called 27 witnesses, while Obi and LP called 13.