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Bayelsa Guber: APC, INEC Tender Conflicting Election Documents At GEP Tribunal

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Bayelsa Guber: APC, INEC Tender Conflicting Election Documents At GEP Tribunal

The All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Wednesday in Abuja tendered conflicting election results on the November 11, 2023, Governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The conflicting election results were tendered at the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

While INEC tendered its certified results, the APC polling unit agents tendered various results with respect to the places they represented the party.

However the two conflicting results were objected to by different parties, the chairman of the tribunal Justice Adekunle Adeleye admitted them as exhibits for the tribunal’s consideration during the hearing of the petition.

A former Minister of Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and his party, APC, had dragged INEC, the elected Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhirujakpo, and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, before the tribunal.

The petitioners are praying the tribunal, to hold that the election took place in three different local government areas where INEC claimed it did not conduct elections due to alleged diversion of election materials and disruptions of election process on grounds of bypass of the BVAS machine.

The affected three local governments are southern Ijaw, Ogbia and Nembe.

At the commencement of the hearing of the petition, an APC polling unit agent Odungele Moses, adopted his witness statement on oath which he deposed on December 1st 2023.

Led in evidence by Tunde Falola, counsel to the petitioners, the witness maintained that the election took place in his polling unit 15, Ward 4 and tendered a result that he claimed was issued to him by the INEC presiding officer.

However, during cross-examination by Chief Chris Uche SAN, counsel to Governor Diri, the witness admitted that although 16 political parties participated in the governorship election, only APC which he represented as an agent signed the result he tendered.

He did not give reasons why 15 others did not sign.

Another witness, Mallory Afin who also testified for the petitioners tendered APC results which had the same serial number and number of accredited voters as that of INEC but with a different number of votes recorded for different political parties.

During cross-examination by Counsel to Governor Diri, it was discovered that the results tendered by the APC in Ward 002, were prepared and signed by the same presiding officer for Ward 015.

Meanwhile, Justice Adekunle Adeleye has adjourned the matter for further hearing till 15th February.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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