In his final written address submitted to the Presidential Election Petitions Court, Abuja, Peter Obi claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inadvertently confirmed his claim that the electoral umpire shortchanged him by 2.5 million votes in the final results of the February 25 presidential election declared by the commission.
Obi, who contested the election on the Labour Party platform, said INEC goofed up in its bid to defend President Bola Tinubu’s election before the tribunal….CONTINUE READING
THE WHISTLER reports that on March 1, INEC’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu announced Tinubu as the winner of the poll with 8,794,726 votes while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Obi of the Labour Party were said to have scored 6,984,520 votes and 6,101,533 votes, respectively.
But Obi and LP petitioned INEC, Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the All Progressives Congress at the PEPC, presenting exhibits that his actual score was much higher than what was declared by Mahmood.
Obi’s legal team led by Dr Livy Uzoukwu SAN disclosed this in its final written address dated July 20.
Recall that Obi’s fourth witness at the PEPC, a professor of Mathematics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra, Eric Uwaduegwu Ofoedu, had tendered expert reports stating “I observed that, from the IREV portal, scores on Form EC8As of 39,546 polling units were inaccessible – contain uploads not connected with the Presidential Election.”
The professor added that “From the IREV portal, 18,088 polling units results were blurred. This number of PUs negatively impacted the votes of 2,565,269 accredited voters and 9,165,191 voters that collected their PVCS.”
But INEC had responded to the PEPC that there was no “credible evidence” that the 18,088 blurred polling units results Obi’s team downloaded from the INEC Results Viewing Portal(IREV), amounted to 2,565,269 additional votes in his favour.
In their final written address dated July 14, INEC’s lead counsel, A.B. Mahmoud SAN submitted that the blurred results in 18,088 polling units amounting to alleged over 2.5 million votes should be discountenanced.
He argued that no attempt was made by Obi’s lawyers to present any of their Labour party polling agents’ copies to show any discrepancy since the blurred results were alleged to have been uploaded with a view to suppressing his votes.
Tinubu’s legal team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN also aligned with INEC’s line of argument, but urged the PEPC in its final written address, not look into the respective exhibits tendered by Obi’s witnesses because they were allegedly “dumped” on the court without being demonstrated to substantiate his claims.
But then, Obi’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu SAN, told the five-man panel of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani that the submissions by Tinubu and INEC further prove that the electoral umpire misunderstood the evidence of the professor, particularly with respect to the alleged unlawful declaration of the Tinubu and Shettima as the winners of the Presidential election.
Uzoukwu argued that INEC was subpoenaed (summoned by the court at the instance of the petitioners) to produce Form EC8As, including the scanned copy it uploaded to IREV, and the electoral umpire produced certified documents that where either manifestly blurred or blank, purporting they were the results of the election in respective polling units.
He argued that the blurred copies certified by INEC cannot by any stretch of imagination be described as the authentic version of the actual Form EC8A containing the records of the figures obtained by the candidates in the respective polling units, “yet INEC certified these blurred copies/images as true copies of what is in their possession.”
He urged the court to declare that “a certified copy is a copy of a document certified as true by the officer who has the custody of the original.”
Obi’s lawyers further contended that the electoral umpire has helped their case by producing a certified unreadable Form EC8As uploaded on IREV as a copies of the original in its possession.
“It is submitted that the above blurred certified true copies, further debunk the unfounded claim/evidence of Tinubu’s witness, Senato Michael Opeyemi that, the hard of Form EC8A in the possession of the INEC were used to collate the result of the election.
“If such hard copies as claimed by the RW1 exist, and are in the 1st Respondents (INEC) possession, the milion-dollar question, is why were they not certified and given to the Petitioners instead of certifying blurred, unreadable and irrelevant images, purporting same to be the certified true copies of the result of the election.
“Your Lordships, will rightly invoke the presumption of Section 167 (d) of the Evidence Act in favour of the Petitioners,” Uzoukwu stated….CONTINUE READING