Supreme Court refuses PDP’s request to inspect server

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The Supreme Court has refused an application seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to inspect its central server.

The court said the matter was still pending before the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the PDP’s decision to approach the apex court “under the guise of requesting for fear hearing” had failed.

“Litigants should stop relying on the provision of fair hearing alone as it is not available to them just for the asking,” the court ruled.

The court said the law does not allow it to set aside a valid decision of the lower court, and decided that the reason adduced by the Court of Appeal in a previous decision against the inspection of the server was valid.

The PDP had asked the Supreme Court to compel INEC to allow them inspect its server after submitting that the commission had a central server.

The party argues that the server contains authentic results of the 2019 presidential election which it says its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won.

The party approached the Court after the same request was refused by the Court of Appeal.

The Appeal Court had ruled that it would decide on PDP’s request along with the main matter which is its dispute of the election results.

The Court of Appeal said since issues had been joined by parties regarding the existence or nonexistence of the server, any decision taken by it would tend to suggest that it had taken a stand regarding the server.

Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, says there is no cause for alarm over the Supreme Court’s ruling dismissing his claims to inspect INEC server.

Abubakar, who addressed a news conference through his lead counsel, Eyitayo Jegede SAN, after Tuesday’s proceedings, said the decision was anticipated and that proactive action had been taken during the hearing of the petition.

He said: “There is no cause for alarm in the decision of the apex court as it relates to our petition at the tribunal.

“The issue of server was aimed at establishing that the election was rigged during the collation of results and this was thoroughly addressed through witnesses and documents tendered and admitted during the presentation of the petition.”

He expressed optimism that the tribunal would do justice at the end of the day.

Abubakar had approached the Supreme Court praying for an order to set aside the decision of the tribunal which refused to compel INEC to allow him access to the central server allegedly used in the conduct of the presidential poll.

But the Supreme Court refused the application, saying the matter was still pending before the Court of Appeal.

It ruled that the PDP’s decision to approach the apex court “under the guise of requesting for fear hearing” had failed.

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