Osun Election Tribunal: Why INEC cancelled results in 17 polling units – Witness
Adelodun Rasaki, the state collation agent for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun governorship election has explained why results were cancelled in seventeen polling units during the September 22, 2018 exercise.
Mr Rasaki, who testified before the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday said the results were cancelled by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) due to inability to reconcile number of votes.
Mr Rasak said this while being cross examined by counsel to INEC, Adesina Agbede.
He said it was during collation of results from the 30 local governments in the state, that some local government collation officers reported that some polling units’ results could not be reconciled.
“That led to the cancellation of the results of these polling units.
“That was at the point of aggregation of all results from the 30 local governments.
“The returning officer of the state informed that the number of registered voters in these units exceeded the margin between the first petitioner (Senator Ademola Adeleke) and the second respondent (Gov. Gboyega Oyetola).
“The margin showed that the difference is small compared with the number of registered voters and that they cannot be disenfranchised,” he said.
He stated all party agents who signed the result sheet (Form EC8D) for the state were present when the cancellation decision was taken.
The witness was equally cross-examined by counsel to APC, Lasun Sanusi (SAN).
He told Mr Sanusi that he, along with other APC’s polling unit agents discovered discrepancies in some of the Forms EC8A brought to him as the state collation agent of the party.
He also told Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), counsel to the petitioners that he was not at the collation centres in the local governments and as such did not see the persons who made corrections on the various Forms EC8A, B and C.
He informed that during collation of results at the state collation centre, presiding officers from the polling units were not allowed in.
He said that “Only the local government officers were allowed.
“Polling unit agents of parties were not present when the decision to cancel result if seven polling units was made”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are challenging the declaration of Mr Oyetola of APC as the winner of the September 22 and 27, 2018 election.
They alleged that the election was marred with massive rigging, over voting, vote buying and other forms of electoral malpractices and that it was not conducted in compliance with the law.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has adjourned its sitting until February 5 at the instance of the counsel to the governor; Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN).
Mr Owonikoko had sought the adjournment to enable the second respondent, Mr Oyetola to bring his remaining witnesses to testify for him.