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12 SANs In Peter Obi’s Legal Team Revealed As Appeal Court Rules On BVAS

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja is set to rule on the application filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) it used to conduct the 2023 presidential election, up which held on Saturday, February 27, 2023.

The court has set Wednesday, March 8, 2023, for the eagerly awaited ruling.

The legal team of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, a party in the suit, moved a motion requesting the court not to allow INEC to tamper with the evidence in the matter going to the Presidential Election Tribunal.

According to our findings, Obi’s legal team include at least twelve Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Some of them presented in order of seniority are Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN; Chief Awa Kalu, SAN; Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN; P.I.N. Ikwueto, SAN; Chief Ben Anyachebe, SAN; S.T. Hon, SAN; Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN; Ik Ezechukwu, SAN; J.S. Okutepa, SAN; Dr Mrs Valerie Azinge, SAN; Emeka Okpoko, SAN; and Alex Ejesieme, SAN.

According to an inside source, Obi’s legal team is still being constituted and “these are not all the senior advocates of Nigeria on the team. More are still signing up.”

Obi’s legal team had argued that the data on the BVAS contains the substance of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate’s case against INEC’s unlawful manipulation of the February 25 election’s results and processes.

The team informed the court that its forensic experts had not been granted access to INEC systems to inspect them before the said data transfer, and the said process is not clearly spelt out to all parties concerned.

Obi’s lawyers questioned the motives of INEC to be so hasty to compromise the principal evidence of the election umpire’s fraudulent manipulation of the election results.

In its response, the electoral body argued that it would transfer the data on the BVAS to a backup server. INEC wishes to clean up the BVAS for conducting the governorship and state legislative elections billed for Saturday, March 11, 2023.

The case is being heard by a three-person Court of Appeal panel headed by Justice Joseph Ikyegh.

The future of Nigeria’s democracy has come under scrutiny following the conduct of a flawed presidential election by INEC in which the electoral body declared the unpopular candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the winner.

The three main opposition parties, Labour Party (LP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), have all rejected the election results announced by INEC.

LP and PDP, in an unprecedented move on February 28, 2023, jointly called for the resignation of the INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu and for the cancellation of the exercise, which they described as a “travesty” and “rape of democracy”.

Mr Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra who ran for president with the backing of the youth population, is widely believed to have won the election by a wide margin, beating a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, and the Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos governor with links to drug trafficking.

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