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Peter Obi: 2.5 Million Votes Not Reflected In Final Presidential Election Result – LP Witness Tells Tribunal




Presidential Tribunal: INEC Speaks On Deducting 2.5 Million Votes From Peter Obi's Score
Peter Obi and INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

A witness standing in for the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Peter Obi, in disputing the outcome of the 2023 presidential election at the President Election Petition Tribunal, has claimed that 2.5 million accredited votes were not reflected in the final result of the February 25 president election announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Naija News reports that after a fiercely debated election on February 25th, INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, pronounced Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the poll’s winner.

The final results announced by the electoral commission boss puts Tinubu ahead of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Obi of the Labour Party, who emerged second and third in the race, respectively.

At the most recent proceedings at the Tribunal, a Professor of Mathematics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Eric Ofoedu, testified against INEC, claiming that he analysed some of the results of the presidential election uploaded on the commission’s IReV portal and discovered a chunk of accredited votes were not recorded.

Under cross-examination, Prof. Ofoedu told the court that he embarked on the analysis as an academic exercise that would benefit his students.

According to him, total votes of 2,565,629 accredited voters were not reflected in the final result of the February 25 presidential election announced by INEC chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood.

Ofoedu further explained to the court why he employed the use of projection in his analysis of election results from Rivers and Benue States.

Led in evidence by counsel to the petitioners, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), the subpoenaed witness, the professor gave his evidence in chief by the lawyer representing the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN.

He alleged that when the blurred results he downloaded were matched with Form EC8As (polling unit results) given to Labour Party agents at the affected Polling Units, the votes of 2,565,269 accredited voters were not reflected in the final results announced by the INEC Chairman.

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

“From the 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,” the professor had said in his statement on oath.”

Naija News understands that the University Don had tendered in evidence reports of Data Analysis from the Results of Nigeria’s February 25, 2023, presidential election in Rivers and Benue state, among other documents.

Ofoedu had told the court that he downloaded 18,088 blurred polling unit results from the INEC Result Viewing Portal, IREV.

He explained why he used projection for Rivers and Benue during cross-examination by the legal team of the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and All Progressives Congress.

During his cross-examination by INEC’s lawyer, A.B Mahmoud SAN, Ofoedu said while he voted in the election, he was on February 20 requested by the Labour Party to produce a report on the election results on IREV, and he eventually accepted to use his assessment to educate his students.

He agreed with INEC that his primary data source was the IREV portal.

Asked if his reference to INEC Form EC8As (polling unit results) was the same as the scanned results uploaded to the IREV, Ofeodu said there was a difference between several hard copies of Form EC8As and what was uploaded on IREV.

“In place of uploaded Form EC8As, there were blurred copies on IREV,” the witness told the court.

However, Professor Mahmood at this point asked, “You made reference to 18,088 blurred polling unit results on IREV. You referred to Form EC8As received by Labour Party agents. Did you attach them to your report?”

Ofeodu responded saying he did not, adding that he thought they were already tendered (by Obi’s lawyers) to the court.

INEC chairman told the University Don that he was not an election expert and could not have competently determined what constituted compliance or non-compliance to the Electoral Act 2022.

“It depends on what you mean by that. I can determine electoral compliance,” the witness replied.

Meanwhile, in their cross-examination, counsel to Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, Akin Olujimi SAN, asked the witness to confirm whether the results already declared from polling units to the National Collation Centre by INEC “will change” if there is a failure to transmit results from polling units to IREV, or if the results he claimed to download from the portal were blurred.

The witness said, “It will not change if it (Form EC8As) is properly used.”

The professor agreed that IRev is not a collation centre, but it was meant to serve as a checker.

“Your report covers only two states, Benue and Rivers states?,” Olujimi asked him.

“Not only two states, but two states stand distinctively. Actually, we did an analysis of all the states,” the professor replied.

Olujimi then asked that apart from Benue and Rivers, which other state did he mention in his reports? The witness said he mentioned no other state.

When pressed further, the professor explained that he worked only on available data and that if he had access to all the data, his results assessment will be different.

Olujimi asked further if he was engaged by the Labour Party on February 20 to carry out data analysis of the Presidential Election and determine INEC compliance with Electoral Act, and the witness responded in the affirmative.

Olujimi told him he already had a premonition about who should have won the election.

“I accepted to do the analysis because of my students,” Ofoedu told the court.

APC lawyer Abiodun Ikoko SAN also cross-examined the professor: “The report you tendered was based on blurred results you downloaded from IREV?,”

The witness said his report was not just limited to the blurred results he had already tendered in court. He was also asked what aspect of mathematics he engaged to analyse the blurred results, to which he answered that there is no theory in knowing that something is blurred.

The APC asked him what theory he used in choosing Rivers and Benue state as the touch stone of his analysis.

“It was a random pick,” the professor said.

Ofeodu was again asked if the total number of polling units in Rivers and Benue adds up to the 18,088 polling units he said were blurred on IREV.

“My lord, the 18,088 blurred results are not connected with the polling unit results in Rivers and Benue states,” Ofoedu said.

He added that the data he analysed was “exact data”, while he randomly picked Rivers and Benue state from all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

He told the court that the most important INEC form to analyse in an election is Form EC8A, polling unit results.

The witness was subsequently discharged.

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