……As Tribunal strikes out INEC’s application to stall Adeleke’s certificates presentation
An expert witness, Isiaka Olanrewaju, told Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that he established irregularities in the results used to declare the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke, as the Governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said he came to that conclusion after analysing the result forms for the election and comparing them with the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS).
He made these revelations while giving evidence before the Justice Tertsea Kume-led tribunal at the resumed hearing in the petition filed by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday.
This is just as the tribunal struck out the application by Counsel for INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, filed to set aside the Subpoena issued on the INEC for the production of Adeleke’s credentials used in the 2018 Governorship Election.
The witness who was led in evidence by the Petitioners’ counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), said he relied on forms EC8As, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E and BVAS report released by INEC to arrive at his findings.
While being cross- examined by the INEC counsel, Professor Ananaba, the witness said he analysed the results of the election in 749 units across 10 Local Governments as against 762 units being suggested to him by the counsel for the respondents.
While INEC counsel put it to him that the witness analysed results of 762 units, he responded: “That is your opinion, I worked on just 749 units. where you see 762, I don’t know”.
The witness was also cross-examined by counsel for Adeleke, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and counsel for the PDP, Alex Izinyon (SAN).
He told the tribunal that though he didn’t operate the BVAS machine on the election day on July 16, 2022, he received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the BVAS report on the 27th of July 2022 after the election.
The style of the witness’ testimony however threw the entire court into laughter while mentioning the documents used for his analysis, saying: “I used form EC8A, comma, EC8B, comma, EC8C, comma, EC8D, comma, EC8E, no comma and BVAS report”.
He testified that he is an expert who had operated several electronic devices, including BVAS before and was aware that an electoral officer might fail to submit the data imputed into the machine or that if the network was bad, the data submitted would not be successful.
Asked again on whether his analysis was done only where the PDP won, the witness said, “I did my analysis across 749 polling units in 10 local governments regardless of which party won.”
Earlier, the tribunal had granted an application by Oyetola’s counsel, asking to amend the list of witnesses filed before the panel by including the acronym used to represent their names.
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Olujinmi had also informed the tribunal that the INEC counsel had filed an application to attack the Subpoena issued by the tribunal on INEC to bring Adeleke’s certificate and other documents he used in the 2018 Governorship Election.
Olujinmi said, the evidence of his next witness would be based on the documents being requested for, saying he would wait in the calling of the said witness listed as number 2, until the tribunal decides on the application of the INEC counsel.
The tribunal had earlier fixed tomorrow, Tuesday, for the hearing of the application and agreed that the witness should wait until it takes a stand on the said application, before he withdrew the application.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has struck out the application by Counsel for INEC, Ananaba filed to set aside the Subpoena issued on the INEC for the production of Adeleke’s credentials used in the 2018 Governorship Election.
The ruling of the tribunal followed the application by INEC counsel to withdraw the application.
Addressing journalist after the sitting, Olujinmi said the application was the only obstacle for the appearance of INEC official to produce Adeleke’s credentials, saying the obstacle has been dealt with and the INEC Resident Electoral Commission would have to appear before the court with the documents requested for.
“What happened today is that the petitioners called their witness who gave oral evidence on the analysis he did on the results produced by INEC after the election. And the other witnesses who will testify will be coming in tomorrow and the court has adjourn to tomorrow.
“As regards the Subpoena, we expect that the only obstacle as against it was the application filed on behalf of INEC against the Subpoena but they withdrew that application today which means the Subpoena could be obeyed by INEC and then the officer we Subpoened will appear in court by tomorrow with those documents”, Olujinmi added.