By Andy Chukwu
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has ordered Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Zamfara Stata Resident Electoral Commissioner to appear on or before 12 noon or Thursday.
The court gave the order Wednesday to enable Yakubu to produce some documents requested by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
This followed a complaint by the PDP that the subpoena served on both INEC officials, since July 12 and 15, have not been complied with.
The five-member panel of judges led by Justice Mohammed Garba gave Yakubu up till 12pm on Thursday to appear before it or risk an action against him.
The panel also gave the same order to the Zamfara Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to produce results sheets of all the polling units in the state for the PDP.
“Since the record of the court shows that the Chairman of the first respondent, INEC and REC Zamfara were duly served to produce document named therein.
“The Chairman and REC Zamfara as well as the legal team representing them in this matter are to comply with the order.
“They have the duty to comply and obey the subpoena
“They have been directed to produce documents in the subpoenas by 12pm tomorrow,” the tribunal ruled.
The tribunal chaired by Garba Mohammed gave the order after PDP lawyers, led by Uche Chris, SAN, said they served copies of the court’s subpoena on the INEC officials since July 12 and July 15, respectively.
“Permit me to bring to your attention some preliminary issues. The subpoena dated 9th July on INEC chairman which we paid for has not been released to us,” Uche said.
“On the same 9th July another subpoena was on the REC Zamfara and we applied for all the EC8As. We paid for them and they refused to release them to us.”
The PDP counsel then asked the tribunal to assist them to get the documents.
While delivering the ruling, the panel noted that it was impossible for the INEC chairman and REC to produce the documents on the day they were served the subpoenas.
“We note that the INEC chairman and REC were asked to produce documents on the day they were served, that is impossible,” Garba held.
“They have been directed to produce documents in the subpoenas by 12pm tomorrow.”
The petitioners are seeking to tender these documents as evidence.
The PDP named INEC as its first respondent in the petition while Buhari was named second respondent and the APC, the third respondent in the petition.