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2023 Presidential Poll: Atiku, PDP Withdraw Fresh Application Against INEC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have withdrawn a fresh application they filed to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow their agents to participate in the process of sorting out ballot papers that were used for the presidential election that held on February 25.

Both PDP and Atiku, who are separately challenging the outcome of the election, told the Presidential Election Petition Court that they were no longer interested in the application and have filed a notice of discontinuance.

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According to sources, the decision of Atiku to withdraw the application was as a result of a meeting his legal team held with the leadership of the electoral body on Tuesday.

He said they filed the application owing to challenges and administrative bottlenecks they encountered at the INEC office when they went for access to the election materials as ordered by the court.

It was at that meeting which held on Tuesday that all the grey areas were sorted out with INEC, pledging to allow their agents, observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials they requested for, especially the ballot papers.

He added that since it was primarily their prayer in the fresh application filed, they felt that it would not be necessary to proceed with the hearing.

Meanwhile, following the withdrawal of the application, the Justice Joseph Ikyegh-led three-member panel struck it out.

Atiku had in the withdrawn application, which he predicated on 11 grounds, maintained that it was necessary for agents of his party to be present during the sorting out of the electoral materials he would need to prepare a petition he intends to lodge against the outcome of the presidential election.

He said there was need for his agents to observe and participate in the sorting of materials he requested for in all the offices of INEC nationwide, in line with the ex-parte order the court made on March 3.

Atiku argued that allowing the agents of his party to be on ground while the materials are sorted out, would ensure transparency in the process and guarantee that the ballot papers would not be tampered with.

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