Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) will on Thursday testify before the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja.
This development comes as part of the ongoing petition filed by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who challenges the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accused INEC and Mr. Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of manipulating the polls.
His lead counsel, Chris Uche, on Tuesday, informed the five-member panel of the court chaired by Haruna Tsammani that Mr. Yakubu would appear before it on Thursday.
At the best of Atiku’s legal team, Mr. Yakubu had been subpoenaed to testify on the conduct of the disputed election.
Before Yakubu’s testimony, Atiku’s legal team called several witnesses, including Alex Ter, a lawyer and former Attorney General of Benue State. Ter testified that the February presidential poll was marred by widespread irregularities and violated the Electoral Act, of 2022.
During his testimony, Ter presented video clips featuring Yakubu and INEC’s Commissioner for Voter Education, Festus Okoye, both affirming the commitment to electronically transmit the election results. The court admitted these videos as exhibits, along with other relevant documents.
Despite objections from Tinubu’s legal team and the APC, the court accepted the admissibility of the videos. Similar video clips were previously tendered by Peter Obi’s Labour Party, which also disputes Tinubu’s victory.
Under cross-examination, Ter clarified that he was not an ICT expert and obtained his report on the election’s outcome from PDP agents at the collation centers. He maintained that the presidential election should be considered null and void due to alleged electoral malpractices by INEC.
Following Ter’s testimony, the court adjourned the proceedings until Wednesday, June 14, for further hearings. Atiku and Obi are both urging the court to declare them president and are calling for a fresh election.