The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) witnesses have disagreed with the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Fayemi’s lawyers’ at the ongoing sitting of the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja.
The witnesses disagreed with APC and Fayemi’s counsel on the powers of INEC officials to alter results of election already entered into Form EC8A, noting that collation officers cannot alter results except at the polling units and with the consent of all party agents.
Petitioners are contending at the tribunal that content of the duplicate copies of INEC Form EC8A in which results were recorded at the Polling Units were different from the results used to declare Fayemi as winner and that most of the results were altered.
APC and Fayemi’s lawyers had in an attempt to show that the manual used by INEC during the election contained some clauses that can allow for discretion to be exercised in order to alter results stressed that the schedule and manual at page 75 was all encompassing.
This was aimed at justifying the difference in the results issued by INEC at the respective polling units immediately after the election (pink copy) and the Certified True Copies purportedly used to declare Fayemi as winner.
INEC officials had earlier claimed that they made honest mistakes by grossly mutilating the results.
However, INEC officials (Collation officers) who gave evidence at the tribunal , Thursday (8/11/2018), said during cross-examination that Collation Officers cannot alter Form EC8A (polling unit results).
The witnesses said only officers posted to the units can exercise such discretion and it must be at the polling unit with the knowledge of respective political parties.
The tribunal adjourned till Tuesday 13/11/2018 at the instance of INEC.
(Source : Olayinka)