Tribunal orders INEC Chairman to appear in court Thursday

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The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday ordered the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to appear before it on Thursday by 12noon.

The order was sequel to an earlier subpoena issued and served on Yakubu and the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Zamfara State.

The petitioners had filed two applications on July 9 seeking an order of court to compel INEC Chairman to physically appear before the tribunal and present certain documents listed by the petitioners and the Zamfara REC to produce the election results for Zamfara State in the presidential poll.

While that of the chairman was served on him on July 15, that of the Zamfara REC was served on him on July 12.

Counsel to the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche SAN, had on resumption of proceedings on Wednesday lamented that the commission was yet to respond to the tribunal’s subpoena served on the chairman and the Zamfara REC.

Responding, counsel to INEC, Yunus Usman SAN, told the tribunal that he was not aware of the subpoena on Yakubu but that of the Zamfara REC had been complied with, adding that they are waiting for the petitioners to pay the normal fee and collect the said documents.

But in a short ruling, Presiding Justice of the five man panel, held that orders of Court were sacrosanct and must be obeyed.

“Since the record of the Court shows that the chairman of the 1st Respondents INEC and Zamfara REC were duly served to produce documents named therein, the chairman and Zamfara REC as the legal team representing them in this matter are to comply with the order”, the tribunal held.

According to the chairman, the record of the Court showed that Yakubu was served on July 15 and the Zamfara REC on July 12, but were yet to respond to the subpoena.

“They have not done so and there is no document to show.

“We note that the INEC chairman and REC were asked to produce documents on the day they were served, that is impossible.

“They have been directed to produce documents in the subpoena by 12 noon tomorrow”, he said.

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