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INEC Kicks As Obi, LP Tender 18,000 Blurred IReV Sheets

Professor of Mathematics, Eric Uwadurgwu Ofoedu, yesterday, told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that 18,088 blurred polling units results of the February 25 presidential election were uploaded to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Professor Ofoedu, lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, was testifying as the fourth Petitioners Witness(PW4) in the petition filed against the outcome of the election by the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

Obi and his party are petitioners in the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 challenging the election which brought president Bola Tinubu into power

Respondents are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) president Bola Tinubu and Vice president Kashim Shettima and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

They are contending that if the actual results from the 18,088 polling units are reflected and the alleged overvoting are deducted, the court would see he was the elected winner of the 2023 polls.

While maintaining that the candidate of LP won the election in Rivers and Benue states, the subpoenaed witness explained that when compared with Form EC8As (polling unit results) given to LP agents at the affected PUs, votes of 2,565,269 accredited voters were not reflected in the final results announced by INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu.

He told the court that he was engaged by the LP on February 20, and was later subpoenaed to carry out a data analysis on the election results state by state.

In his statement on oath, Prof. Ofoedu who stated that specialises in numerical functional analysis and data science, disclosed that the affected scores from the polling units which favoured Obi was recovered using LP agents EC8A copies and certified true copies of EC8As as supplied by INEC.

“I observed that, from IREV portal, scores on Form EC8As of 39,546 polling units were inaccessible – contain uploads not connected with the Presidential Election.

“From 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,” he said.

Besides, the star witness told the Justice Haruna Tsammani led five-memeber panel that overvoting checks on the 2023 presidential election showed that 4,457 polling units with a total of 2,317,129 PVCs collected were affected.

He added that the figure exceeds the margin of lead of 1,807, 206 votes over the first runner declared by INEC, that is, Atiku Abubakar.

On the 39,546 polling units allegedly not accessible on IREV, Ofoedu disclosed that both the number of accredited voters (5,532,553) and the number of PVCs collected (23,119, 298) exceeded the margins of lead by far from the INEC-announced results (1,807,206 over Atiku and 2,693,193 over Obi).

Making specific reference to Rivers State as an example, the witness said: “From results on IREV portal, LP got 208,564 votes while APC got 118,999 votes in Rivers state as against 175,071 votes for LP and 231,591 votes for APC as announced by INEC.”

In Benue state for instance, he said in the court document that a final vote count of 281,426 votes for Obi and 258,683 votes for Tinubu were obtained after he added actual votes on the Form EC8As obtained from LP agents in the state.

The mathematician expressed the view that there is no correlation between the results declared by the INEC Chairman and what is available on the IREV portal or CTC of Forms EC8As from the polling units as supplied by the electoral umpire.

Lead by the petitioners counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, the witness tendered as his evidence, Reports of Data Analysis from the Results of the February 25, 2023, presidential election in Nigeria (IREV Scores Investigation alongside LP agents EC8A copies and CTC of EC8A from INEC), River state, Benue state among other documents.

But counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, Wole Olanipekun for President Tinubu and that of the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, all opposed to the admissibility of the documents.

INEC told the court that they had just been served with the statement of the witness and would need time to go through it.

“To be honest, I and my team are handicapped and do not know how to proceed. It is an ambush,” he said.

He added that if the petitioners would wish to continue, they should ask for a step down to allow the respondents study the statement properly.

Olanipakun also appreciated Mahmoud’s submission and his handicapp

“We don’t mind taking the witness but, in alternative, he can be taking in evidence in chief today,” he said.

Fagbemi also told the court that they were also served this morning and aligned with the submission of Olanipakun.

Regardless, they were admitted in evidence by the court which adjourned to Friday for cross-examination of the witness.

The petitioners 5th witness (PW 5) was also called named Lumnie Edevbie, from Arise News Television, and was taken in evidence by Patrick Ikweato.

The witness brought statement made by Prof. Yakubu, INEC chairman at the Chatham House, London on Jan 17.

The flash drive of the statement was tendered as evidence and marked as evidence.

The respondents all objected to the adoption of the statement of the witness and the viewing of the video.

The video was however, allowed to be played.

The panel adjourned till day for the cross examination of the witness and further hearing of the petition.

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