…As INEC says: We sold obsolete materials, not ballot papers in Calabar***
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) witnesses on Thursday accused INEC presiding officers of manipulating results of the Sept. 22 and 27, 2018 Osun Governorship Polls.
The court hearing continued even as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai told newsmen in the State that the Cross River office only sold obsolete materials, and not ballot papers, as alleged in some quarters.
The witnesses told the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the FCT High Court Abuja that the INEC officials failed to record the number of accredited voter’s on the results sheets on polling days.
The petition was filed by the PDP and its candidate in the election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, against the victory of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The petitioners alleged that the election was marred with massive rigging, vote buying and other forms of malpractices and was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Law.
Joined as respondents in the petition were INEC, Gov. Oyetola and APC.
During cross examination, PDP agent for Unit 9, Ward 4 of Olorunda Local Government Area, Phillip Adetunji, said that vital information, such as the number of accredited voters on the certified copy of result sheet tendered in evidence were not on the pink copy issued to him at the polling unit.
“I can see 245 (number of accredited voters) on the white copy but this is not on the pink copy I signed on the day of election.
” I have no complaint about scores of parties. My complaint is that the space for accredited voters was not filled,” said the PDP witness.
Another witness, Adepoju Akanmu, the PDP agent for Unit 2, Ward 11 of Osogbo LGA, told the tribunal that he signed the white copy of the result sheet, saying that he did not have any complaints about the scores of parties.
“This one (certified copy) is fake. There is no recording of accredited voters on the pink copy,” he stated.
Ganiyu Sadia Motunrayo, PDP agent for Unit 3, Ward 18 of Osogbo LGA, also complained about the non-recording of the accredited voters on the result sheet.
“INEC (officials) did not write the number of accredited voters. I complained about it but they did not write it till the end of election that day,” she said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, has adjourned for continuation of hearing of the petitioners’ case until Monday, Jan. 14.
In the meantime, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said what it sold in its Cross River office were obsolete materials and not ballot papers as alleged in some quarters.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Frankland Briyai, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Calabar.
He was reacting to reports of an impounded truck in the state with obsolete electoral materials and some 2015 ballot papers.
Briyai explained that the commission had a lot of obsolete materials in the office and that sometime in 2018, someone bought all the materials.
He, however, stated that the disposed materials did not include any ballot paper.
According to him, the said truck was stopped at a security check point in Ogoja area, and on a check, it was revealed that the truck had obsolete INEC materials and some 2015 ballot papers.
The REC said that at the discovery, the security officials raised alarm, adding that the commission would investigate the matter and ensure that those culpable went in for it.
“The commission does not sell ballot papers even if they are old.
“I had a call from some security operatives that they impounded a truck at Ogoja with some useless papers and 2015 ballot papers.
“First, I asked the lady in charge of ballot if she knew anything about ballot papers going out and she said `no’.
“I have notified the security agencies, including the police and Department of State Security (DSS). I don’t know what they will find out.
“I have also alerted my headquarters,” he said.