Atiku Abubakar Tuesday said the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal did not reject his request to check the Independent National Electoral Commission server as claimed by the presidency.
Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate for the 2019 general election, said the tribunal only ruled that the request being sought is not relevant at its current stage of hearing.
“The request by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party to inspect the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission was NOT rejected,” Paul Ibe, his spokesman, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“What the honourable Tribunal said is that it is still at preliminary stages and the main case HAS NOT begun and that the matter of granting access to inspect the INEC server is not relevant to the preliminary stages,” he said.
“It is a matter to be adjudicated upon when the case proper is being heard,” he added.
Abubakar was reacting to a statement from a presidential spokesperson stating that the “tribunal unanimously rejected the PDP’s request.”
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu in a statement said: “the long standing principle of law has once again been re-enacted.”
But Atiku’s spokesman said “the last has not been heard of this matter and we eagerly anticipate the actual ruling of the Tribunal when the case proper begins.”
The election tribunal Monday refused to grant the application filed by Atiku and PDP to inspect the server and data of smart card readers used by the INEC for the presidential election of February 23, 2019.
The five-man panel headed by Justice Mohammed Garba ruled that granting the application would imply that the court had delved into and resolved the contentious issue of the existence of a central server at INEC.