APC, INEC tender conflicting election documents at Bayelsa Guber Petition Tribunal.


APC, INEC tender conflicting election documents at Bayelsa Guber Petition Tribunal.

By Kayode Lawal, Abuja.
February 14, 2024

The All Progressive 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 own certified results, the APC polling unit agents tendered various results in respect of the places they represented the party.

However the two conflicting results though were objected to by different parties, the chairman of the tribunal Justice Adekunle Adeleye admitted them as exhibits for the tribunal 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 People’s Democratic Party PDP before the tribunal.

The petitioners are praying the tribunal to hold that election took place in three different local government areas where INEC claimed that elections were not conducted 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 to 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 which 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 same serial number and number of accredited voters with that of INEC but however had 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 APC in ward 002 was prepared and signed by the same presiding officer for ward 015.

The witnesses were also cross examined by Charles Edosonwon SAN who stood for INEC, Chukwuma Machukwu-Umeh SAN who stood for the Deputy Governor and Tayo Oyetibo SAN who represented PDP.

The witnesses though denied the allegations of parading fake election results but however admitted that only INEC has statutory powers to conduct elections and to possess superior documents.

Meanwhile Justice Adekunle Adeleye has adjourned further hearing till 15th February.

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