BVAS not used in 749 polling units – Witness
The Prosecution Witness 2 before the ongoing Election Petition Tribunal hearing matters emanating from the July 16 governorship poll in Osun State, Rasaq Adeosun, on Tuesday, said Bimodal Voter Accreditation System was not used in 749 polling units during the exercise.
Adeosun, the State Collation Agent for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress at the poll, Adegboyega Oyetola, under cross-examination also told the tribunal that he could not say whether agents of his party signed election result sheets at the polling units that his candidate was challenging before the tribunal.
Also, while responding to questions by the counsel for the 1st respondent in the matter, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, Adeosun, who said he was an appointee of Oyetola, informed the panel that he was at the state collation centre on the day of the poll, but only obtained reports of happenings from ward agents of his party.
He also admitted appending his signature on form EC8D1 containing votes cast for parties, where the Peoples Democratic Party was credited with 403,371 votes, while in his witness statement, he claimed the PDP got 403,364.
Insisting that the poll was not conducted in substantial compliance with INEC regulations, Adeosun also said he did not have admission policy or guidelines of any institution attended by the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, nor witnessed any court proceedings where Adeleke was tried for forgery.
He further admitted to not being present in all the 749 polling units that were being challenged when the results of the poll were transmitted by INEC officials.
Earlier in the day’s proceedings, Osun INEC Deputy Director, Election and Party Monitoring, Sheu Mohammed, had appeared before the tribunal in response to a subpoena issued on the commission, having been asked to appear and present filings by Adeleke for the 2018 governorship election.
Mohammed, while responding to questions by the tribunal chairman, Justice Tetse Kume, said the PDP National Secretariat sent Adeleke’s documents to INEC Headquarters in Abuja from where photocopies were sent to Osun office for the documents to be displayed.
He also said after litigations on the election had been concluded, Osun INEC had decongested its office, adding that only results of the election were being kept.
Counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Akin Olujinmi, SAN, applied to the panel to order Osun Resident Electoral Commissioner to approach the national secretariat of the commission and get the documents, as not doing so should be regarded as a disregard for order.
But counsel for INEC, Ananaba, said the subpoena issued on the commission had been honoured with the appearance of Osun INEC official, insisting that Osun Resident Electoral Commissioner might not be allowed due to procedure to approach the INEC headquarters to request for 2018 filings by Adeleke.
He also said the subpoena on INEC had expired and could not be further extended to the INEC chairman, who was the custodian of records of the commission.
Also, in their separate submissions, counsel for Adeleke, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN, and Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, who represented the PDP, both said since Certified True Copies of the documents that the petitioners requested had been obtained by them already, asking INEC Abuja to appear to present same might be unnecessary.
But Olujinmi insisted that the tribunal should order the commission to present the certificates, as doing so would help him prosecute his matter.
After listening to argument and counter-argument on the matter, the tribunal chairman, Justice Kume, reserved ruling till Friday and subsequently adjourned further sittings.