INEC enlisted the services of nine lawyers, including four from its legal department, to defend the petitions against Tinubu’s victory.
Report says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appointed no fewer than nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to defend the results of the February 25 presidential election.
Recall that INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, on March 1, 2023, declared the All Progressives Congress candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the controversial election.
However, his victory is being challenged by several candidates who lost in the election over claims that the commission erred in declaring Tinubu winner because he failed to meet all the constitutional requirements for a candidate to emerge.
Also, the candidates and their political parties accused INEC of manipulating the results of the election due to its failure to upload polling unit results on its result-viewing portal in real-time as promised before the election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, his Labour Party counterpart Peter Obi; the Action Alliance (AA) candidate, Solomon Okangbuan and Allied Peoples Movement (APM) flag-bearer, Chichi Ojei, have all filed petitions for the nullification of the presidential election results.
But, in a bid to safeguard the result, the commission, according to City Lawyer, has put together a team of nine SANs to be led by former Nigerian Bar Association President (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud.
Other members of the team are Stephen Adehi (SAN), Oluwakemi Pinheiro (SAN), Miannaya Essien (SAN), and Abdullahi Aliyu (SAN).
A member of the legal team reportedly confirmed that four SANs from the commission’s legal department have also been drafted into the team and they include: Garba Hassan, Musa Attah, and Patricia Obi.
INEC reportedly has a budget of N3bn earmarked for the purpose of defending the results of the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections and the March 18 governorship and state assembly polls.