PRESIDENTIAL POLLS: PDP accuses Yakubu of plot to destroy evidence of rigging


… as A’Court hears Obi, INEC’s BVAS case today

  • APC appoints 13 SANs to defend Tinubu’s victory
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The People’s Democratic Party has raised the alarm, accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission of working towards destroying the evidence of rigging in the just concluded presidential election.

National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated this in a world press conference he held on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “Late yesterday at 10: 10 pm, INEC in a desperate move to prevent our party and candidate from obtaining necessary evidence as ordered by the Court, filed a motion requesting that it be allowed to reconfigure the BVAS machines and wipe out relevant information that our Party and Candidate require to prosecute our case at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

“This reprehensible action by INEC to frustrate the desire of Nigerians to get redress through the court is a clear recipe for crisis and a deliberate design by the Commission to derail our democracy and trigger anarchy in the country,” he claimed.

He further accused the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, of personally supervising the rigging of the presidential election and going ahead to “hurriedly announced a winner in spite of widespread outcry and complain over numerous evidence of malpractices and violation of several provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 by INEC and its officials.”

The main opposition party equally accused the electoral umpire of bypassing “all the steps and procedures provided by the Electoral Act, 2022 for the declaration of results, including to announce and declare only results that were transmitted directly from the Polling Units to the INEC Server/Website and to review the results in the event of disputes and objections as to the correctness and consistency of the collated result.”

Ologunagba, himself a lawyer, quoted copiously from the Electoral Act to buttress his allegations, saying “For emphasis Section 64 (6) of the Electoral Act clearly states that: (6) Where during collation of results, there is a dispute regarding a collated result or the result of an election from any Polling Unit, the collation officer or returning officer shall use the following to determine the correctness of the disputed result- (a) the original of the disputed collated result for each Polling Unit where the election is disputed;

(b)the smart card reader or other technology device used for accreditation of voters in each polling unit where the election is disputed for the purpose of obtaining accreditation data directly from the smart card reader or technology device.

(c) data of accreditation recorded and transmitted directly from each polling unit where the election is disputed as prescribed under section 47 (2) of this Act

(d) the votes and result of the election recorded and transmitted directly from each polling unit where the election is disputed, as prescribed under section 60 (4) of this Act.

“Furthermore, Section 65 (1)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2022 states as follows;

S. 65.-(1) The decision of the returning officer shall be final on any question arising from or relating to-…. (c) declaration of scores of candidates and the return of a candidate;

Provided that the Commission shall have the power within seven days to review the declaration and return where the Commission determines that the said declaration and return was not made voluntarily or was made contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations and guidelines, and manual for the election.”

PDP expressed surprise that the electoral umpire could “brazenly announce” results that are not in tandem with provisions of the law.

“Instead of being guided by the law, the INEC Chairman brazenly announced and declared results that were not transmitted directly from the Polling Units to INEC’s Server/Website while ignoring the objections and complaints raised during the collation in complete disregard to the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“Despite the provocative act of the INEC Chairman, the PDP as a law-abiding Party approached the court and obtained an Order directing INEC to, among other things, grant our Party and Candidate unrestrained access to carry out a forensic examination of the ballot papers, Data forms, BVAS/and or card readers and all other necessary information, material and evidence to get redress for Nigerians at the Election Tribunal.

“Apparently panicked by the Order, INEC rushed to court to file a motion requesting the court to allow it reconfigure the BVAS devices with the view to erasing the information contained therein.


“In the obnoxious motion, INEC admitted that; the “BVAS Application stores the Accreditation Data for all voters accredited on the device for the Presidential, Senatorial Districts and House of Representatives elections conducted on the 25th February, 2023” and that the reconfiguration of the BVAS devices “entails purging the Accreditation Data on the BVAS devices”.

PDP described INEC’s move as “vexatious, provocative and only points to the impunity and culpability of the Commission with regards to the reported manipulations and alteration of results to deny our Party and its Candidate their victory at the Presidential election. It further validates the fact that our Party and Presidential Candidate won the February 25, 2023 Presidential election, based on the actual votes cast at the Polling Units.”

The party insisted that if the electoral umpire had nothing to hide, it would not have been in a hurry to announce the results of the election that was under dispute.

“If INEC has nothing to hide, why was it in a hurry to declare manipulated results without recourse to the provisions of the Electoral Act and without consideration of the disputes, objections and complaints raised by Parties during the collation process? Why is INEC panicky and desperate to erase the data in the BVAS if not that they contain evidence of malpractices and its culpability in the election?

“The PDP as a law-abiding party will continue to pursue the matter in accordance with the law. We believe that despite the shenanigans by INEC, justice will be served at the end of the day.”

Meanwhile, the APC, on Tuesday, in Abuja, assembled a team of highly qualified and experienced lawyers to represent it at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

According to a statement by Ahmad El-Marzuq, APC National Legal Adviser, the team comprised legal luminaries with vast experience in election petition matters, constitutional law and litigation.

He said the legal team, consisting of 13 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, was led by Lateef Fagbemi, a renowned lawyer.

El-Marzuq said Fagbemi had successfully handled various high-profile election matters and other landmark cases.

He expressed confidence that the legal team possesses the requisite expertise and experience to ensure a successful outcome for the APC in the Presidential Election Petition matters.

The APC National Legal Adviser urged the party’s members to support the team in its effort to defend the will and mandate of the people at the February 25 presidential election.

He also called on all parties involved to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism and respect for the rule of law throughout the legal process.

The legal team includes Lateef Fagbemi (Lead Counsel); Ahmad El-Marzuq (Life Bencher); Sam Ologunorisa; Rotimi Oguneso; Olabisi Soyebo; Gboyega Oyewole; Muritala Abdulrasheed; Aliyu Saiki; Tajudeen Oladoja; Pius Akubo; Oluseye Opasanya; Suraju Saida and Kazeem Adeniyi.

Also, INEC on Tuesday presented Certificates of Return to senators-elect.

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, presented the certificates to the winners of the just concluded senatorial elections held on February 25 at the National Collation Centre, also referred to as the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The electoral body had last Wednesday presented the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima their certificates.