- Atiku Abubakar is considering asking the court to imprison the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission for court contempt
- Atiku said all effort by his legal team to bring INEC to obey court order on accessing electoral material have been frustrated
- The PDP presidential candidate said there is a likelihood his team would issue forms 48 and 49 against Mahmood to be imprisoned for contempt of court
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has warned that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yakubu Mahmood risk imprisonment over disobedience of a court order to allow access to the party.
A member of Atiku's legal team, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said all effort by the PDP to implement the court order have been frustrated by INEC.
Ozekhome in an interview with ThisDay said that INEC has refused to cooperate with Atiku's legal team over accessibility to ballot papers, electoral materials and other devices used during the election.
“They have refused to cooperate with the Atiku legal team by making accessible to them ballot papers, electoral materials and other devices used during the election, which the Court of Appeal, Abuja ordered them to give to Atiku nearly two months ago.
“They have bluntly refused to do this. Every day we send lawyers there, they would not cooperate," Ozekhome said.
The senior lawyer said there is a likelihood that to issue forms 48 and 49 against Mahmood to be imprisoned for contempt of court.
"If that be the case, they will likely force the Atiku legal team to issue forms 48 and 49 against INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to be imprisoned for contempt of court because that is the only weapon in the hands of a person who had secured the order of a court, which is being violated with impunity just as INEC is currently doing," he said.
He also said that the INEC have failed to maintain its responsibility as an independent and impartial umpire as he alleged that the electoral body has descended into taking sides by carrying respondent briefs and sharing issues with petitioners.
He said: "This automatically means it has taken sides with one of the parties.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Atiku-Obi presidential election petition legal team has decried the refusal of the INEC to produce polling documents from the 2019 presidential elections.
A member of the team, Silas Onu, said INEC have continued to deny them access to the materials which had been inspected and paid for in the previous week.
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The Court of Appeal had granted an order directing the commission to allow the Atiku's team access to the documents.
Onu explained that efforts to meet with INEC’s legal team has become an uphill task, stressing, however, that they will continue to follow up until the commission complies with the court order.
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