A former Director of Voter Education and Publicity of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, has thrown more light on the election petitions tribunal judgment that sacked Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the 2022 governorship election in the state.
The Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal had on Friday ruled and nullified the election of Adeleke and directed INEC to withdraw his certificate of return and issue a new one to Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress.
But during an appearance on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Osaze-Uzzi said the discrepancy in the 2022 Osun State governorship election, as it related to the BVAS, was owing to the fact that the APC obtained an incomplete report upon which the judgement was based.
“The second member [of the tribunal] – the Honourable Justice who dissented from his two colleagues – said, ‘I would rather use the primary source of this information, and the primary source of this data is actually the machine itself.
“It is basically a computer. So, rather than go to the server where it transmitted data, I would use the printout from the machine itself,” he said.
He added, “The machines were tendered, so were the reports from the server, and there ought not to have been a discrepancy, but somewhere along the line, not all the data had been transmitted at the time the APC obtained the certified copy of the initial server report.”
“It was BVAS that exposed that as it were, and the fact that the BVAS report was relied on. But we have to be careful; which of the BVAS reports was relied on? Was it what was transmitted to the server – to the backend – or was it the BVAS itself?”, he further stated.
He said there was a need to break the verdict of the tribunal, adding that the majority of the tribunal members – “the chairman and the second member” – relied on the initial report and the initial report of the backend, duly certified by INEC.
Osaze-Uzzi explained that the APC obtained a certified copy of the initial server report the remaining data was transmitted by the BVAS hardware.
“It was downloaded from the server [after it was] transmitted. But a couple of days later – INEC used the word ‘synchronised’, I’m not too sure I like that word, but – you synchronise it and say, ‘Have all the results been transmitted – has all data been transmitted from the machine, BVAS itself, to the server?’
“The machine is a physical one and then it transmits to a physical one. It now went, checked and said, ‘There’s a problem here.’ The BVAS report now downloaded itself, [we] now brought it out and examined each BVAS machine and now found out that no, some data was not transmitted to the server,” the ex-INEC director said.
Osaze-Uzzi, however, encouraged stakeholders to be optimistic about the use of BVAS as it exposed the over-voting in the election as ruled by the tribunal, describing the judgement as a validation of the role BVAS has played in enhancing the electoral process.