By Uche Mbah
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has rejected the request of the Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to inspect the INEC server just as one of the principal counsels of INEC and Mohammadu Buhari, Festus Keyamo, has written to the International Community to ask Atiku to withdraw his case against Buhari.
The ruling has cleared up part of the preliminary objection to the main suit,which is yet to start.
Atiku has requested that the court grant him leave to inspect the INEC server. But INEC has insisted that it has no server. Atiku had, however, tried to prove that the Commission indeed has a server.
But in a five man Unanimous ruling read by the chairman of the tribunal, they held that granting that request will presume that the Court believes that INEC has a server, and this ruling will affect their judgement in the substantive suit. According to the Court, “this is unpalatable”.
The Chairman said the Supreme Court Has warned them against “making observations, comments or pronouncements in its rulings with any likely effect of prejudging the main issue that can be regarded as the issue to be tried in the course of trial.”
In a related development, the Spokesperson of the Buhari campaign Organisation, Festus keyamo, has written to the European Union, EU, and African Union, AU, complaining that Atiku refused to congratulate Buhari and is dragging him to court.
No reason has been given for such a surprising move, which opposition claims is evident of fear and frustrations over the possible outcome of the case.
Bellow is the full text of the petition.
“We are writing to inform you of the undemocratic tendencies of the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, who has chosen to take the electoral process in Nigeria backward after a peaceful and credible presidential and National Assembly elections conducted penultimate Saturday.
“In spite of reports by foreign observers acknowledging the polls as free, fair and peaceful, the opposition party and its candidate have chosen to discredit the entire process and make the Observation Missions look as if they are biased in their assessment of the just concluded presidential poll.
“Apart from blatantly refusing to congratulate the winner of the said poll, President Muhammadu Buhari, the PDP and its candidate have taken the battle to court apparently to cause distractions with a view to slowing down the wheels of governance in the country.
“The PDP is still inciting the Nigerian public against the government of the day irrespective of the fact that President Buhari had been magnanimous in victory. He has pledged to run an all-inclusive government and has even urged us, his supporters, not to gloat or humiliate the opposition, an enjoinder we have adhered strictly to the letter.
“We deem it fit to draw your attention to this brazen attempt to frustrate the democratic process, hoping that you will intervene by calling the PDP and its presidential candidate to order and ensure that the tenets of democracy are adhered to in the ongoing electoral process in Nigeria.
“Atiku should follow former President Goodluck Jonathan’s example. Nobody’s life should be sacrificed for any politician’s ambition. He should abide by the agreement signed by all presidential candidates with the National Peace Committee to accept the results of the just concluded presidential poll in good faith.
“Nigeria has, in the past witnessed enough shedding of the blood of innocent Nigerians. If Atiku wants to help Nigerians, he should work with the Buhari-led government for a prosperous nation. He should not set Nigeria aflame with his inordinate ambition and insatiable thirst for power.”