Ahmed Salami, Osogbo
…as INEC closes case
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has admitted that there was over-voting in the July 16 governorship election that brought in Ademola Adeleke as Governor of Osun State.
A Deputy Director in the ICT department of the INEC, Mrs Abimbola Oladunjoye disclosed this while giving evidence before the Election Petition Tribunal hearing the petition filed by Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the declaration of Adeleke as the winner of the election.
Being cross-examined by the Petitioners’ counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN, Oladunjoye who was referred to as a star witness of INEC admitted that in Ward 4 unit 7, Ede South Local Government, there is an over-voting of 75, as the figure of accreditation on the BVAS report presented by INEC is 313, while the result on form EC8A is 383.
Oladunjoye’s attention was also drawn to paragraph 21.36 of his witness statement where she stated that the accreditation figure was 830, but in the BVAS report presented by INEC, the figure of accreditation is 793, admitting that there was an over voting of 37.
The witness also admitted that in paragraph 26.7 of his witness statement, there is an accreditation figure of 402, while the accreditation figure on the INEC BVAS report was 263, admitting that there is an over voting of 139.
Also in paragraph 23.24 of his witness statement, Oladunjoye agreed that the accreditation figure she mentioned was 448, while the accreditation figure on BVAS was 224, admitting that there is an over voting of 224.
The witness who said under cross examination that she was not a Presiding Officer on the election day said, it is only the Presiding Officers that have explanation on what transpired at the polling units on the election day.
The INEC representative who admitted that she signed and certified a BVAS report for the Petitioners, further said that the copy of the report was different from the one issued to the respondents, adding that she never indicated that the report issued to the Petitioners was an interim document which would be subjected to synchronisation.
She testified that the synchronisation was done after election result had been declared on July 17, 2022 and BVAS report had been issued to the Petitioners on July 27, 2022.
Done with the cross examination of the witness, Chief Olujinmi hinted that the irregularities identified in the BVAS report presented by INEC was just a tip of an iceberg, saying, there are loads of over-voting during the election.
Earlier, the tribunal had admitted as exhibits the load of BVAS machines and CTC of Form EC8 series brought to the tribunal by the INEC counsel.
After the Cross examination of the witness, the INEC counsel, Professor Ananaba informed the court that he would no longer be calling any other witness, as he applied to close his case.
Counsel for Adeleke, Onyeachi Ikpeazu subsequently opened his defence by tendering form EC8 series used for the election.
However, the tribunal raised issue as to the safe custody of the BVAS machine tendered and admitted in evidence, as the panel ordered that the machines should be kept in the Central Bank Vault in Osogbo.
The tribunal then adjourned till tomorrow, Thursday.