The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have withdrawn an application seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow their agents to participate in the sorting of ballot papers used in the February 25 elections.
The PDP, Atiku, Labour Party (LP), and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, had secured leave of the tribunal to have access to all the sensitive materials used by INEC in the elections.
However, Atiku and his party filed a fresh motion ex-parte, marked: CA/PEC/10M/2023 following the claim that INEC refused to grant them access to monitor the sorting of ballot papers.
But when the case was called at the court session on Wednesday, Kyari Gadzama, Atiku’s counsel, told the court that he filed a notice of discontinuance.
Upon inquiry on why the matter was withdrawn, a member of the legal team who did not want to be named said: “We filed the application owing to challenges and administrative bottlenecks we encountered at the INEC office when we went for access to the election materials as ordered by the court.”
“However, before the application dated March 13 could be slated for hearing, INEC, on its own, called our legal team for a meeting.
“It was at that meeting which was held yesterday (Tuesday) that all the grey areas were sorted out, with INEC, pledging to allow our agents to observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials we requested for, especially the ballot papers.
“Since that was primarily our prayer in the fresh application we filed, we felt that it would not be necessary to proceed with the hearing. So, to save judicial time, we filed a notice of discontinuance which was accordingly granted.”
Following the withdrawal of the application, a three-member panel of the tribunal struck out the application.
The opposition party and his candidate are challenging the results of the presidential election won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).