Media adviser to Atiku Abubakar, Paul Ibe, has explained that his principal and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) withdrew a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because it had been overtaken by events.
The PDP and Abubakar had secured leave of the tribunal to have access to all the sensitive materials used by INEC in the elections.
But Atiku and his party filed a fresh motion ex-parte, marked: CA/PEC/10M/2023 claiming that INEC refused to grant them access to monitor the sorting of ballot papers.
But on Wednesday when the case was called for hearing, Kyari Gadzama, Abubakar’s counsel, informed the court that he had filed a notice of discontinuance.
In a statement explaining why the case was discontinued, Ibe said the application was withdrawn because it had been “overtaken by events”.
Ibe said Atiku’s lawyers were given access to the election materials on Tuesday, hence there was no need to continue with the case.
“It has become pertinent to make some clarifications following insinuations and mischievous reporting of the withdrawal of the application for the INEC to grant access to the legal team of Abubakar and the PDP on the inspection of the documents related to the February 25 presidential election,” Ibe said.
“The Court of Appeal had granted the request of Atiku and the PDP to be granted unfettered access to the INEC documents used for the presidential election. On the 10th of March, 2023 Atiku and PDP filed a motion (number 12M) ex parte and affidavit of urgency to ensure the implementation of the court order.
“The court, however, asked that they put Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress APC and the INEC on notice. Consequently, they filed a motion on notice (number 13M) and motion ex parte (number 13MA) for substituted service on Bola Tinubu.
“But on Tuesday at a conference meeting between lawyers of the PDP, LP, APC and INEC, access was eventually granted to the legal team of PDP by INEC.
“When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, the two motions were withdrawn because they have been overtaken by events since access had already been granted on Tuesday to Atiku and PDP.”