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INEC boss, Zamfara REC produce poll documents

INEC)
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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmud Yakubu has produced copies of documents subpoenaed by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

The authentic state-by-state results of the February 23 presidential election for the 36 states and documents from the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Zamfara State were presented before the tribunal yesterday.

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They were accompanied by a letter signed by the commission’s secretary, Mrs Ruth Andrew.

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“Know that the commission had earlier produced, certified and made available to the petitioner over 40,000 documents relating to the 2019 presidential election,” the letter read.

The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba, had ordered the INEC chairman to appear and produce the subpoenaed documents after he found that the records of the court showed that the subpoena was served and received by the INEC chairman on July 15 and Zamfara REC on July 12.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had on Wednesday accused Prof. Yakubu of disobeying subpoena issued on him to produce the documents.

Atiku and PDP, through their lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN), also accused the INEC REC in Zamfara of failing to produce some documents subpoenaed before the tribunal.

Uche said the subpoena to the INEC chairman was issued on July 9, and that for Zamfara on July 12, adding that he had written letters earlier on the need to produce the documents before reporting to court.

“There was a letter written on April 15 addressed to the chairman of INEC, an earlier one on April 9, 2019, and an earlier letter of March 12, 2019 on the same document, and a letter to Ustaz enumerating our challenges in June 2019,” he said.

But INEC counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) said he met the INEC chairman with other members of the legal team up till 11.30pm on Tuesday and he never mentioned the service of the summons on him.

He said an official of INEC in Zamfara had sent him a text message that they have prepared the stated documents as requested by PDP lawyers but they failed to show up to pay the required fees.

Also, lead counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and APC lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), all claimed not being aware of the request for documents from both the INEC chairman and the REC in Zamfara.

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