By Shina Abubakar, Oshogbo
GOVERNOR Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State and the governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, yesterday, disagreed over alleged overvoting brought before the state election petition tribunal.
Governor Oyetola, after the July 16 governorship election which Adeleke won, had approached the tribunal alleging overvoting in 749 polling units across ten local government areas of the state.
His spokesman, Ismail Omipidan, while relying on the report of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement, YIAGA, Africa during the launch of the Election Result Analysis Dashboard, ERAD, report agenda, said there was gross overvoting in the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Omipidan said: “Sections 47(2) of the Electoral Act says that to vote, the presiding officer shall use the smart card reader or any other technological device that may be prescribed by the commission for the accreditation of voters to “verify, authenticate the intending voter in the manner prescribed by the commission.
“For the Osun election, INEC had prescribed the BVAS (Bimodal Voters Accreditation System) as the only credible means of accreditation. But from the report we got from the field, in many of the polling units, BVAS was not used appropriately. It didn’t capture the number of accredited voters. But we did not rely mainly on the report we got from our polling agents. We also demanded by law for a CTC of the report of BVAS from INEC, and we got it.
“The CTC of the report of BVAS across 10 Local Governments in 749 polling units showed that accreditation through BVAS was less than the number of votes cast in those units. By implication, there were more voters than accredited by the BVAS.
“So, consistently, there were more voters than BVAS accredited, and those are our issues with the Election Results as declared by INEC”, he said.
Oyetola fighting a lost battle -Adeleke’s campaign DG
However, the Deputy Director-General, Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Mr Kolapo Alimi while dismissing YIAGA’s report said the issues raised by APC in their petition were mere issues of lack of synchronisation of the BVAS machines deployed to some polling units due to network issues.
Alimi said: “YIAGA’s report issued immediately after the election was that the election was free and fair. It was in tandem with reports of other observer groups, about 60 observer groups, locally and international, monitored it and never wrote any contrary report.
“Now after two months, for somebody to come around and say something contradicting its earlier report, means that such group lacks integrity and nobody will take such report seriously.
“If the tribunal cancelled votes in all the polling units across the state, the PDP will still win; they are fighting a lost battle. The problem is not due to any manipulation; it was because where two or more BVAS were used, the two BVAS did not synchronise when they were uploaded on the server.”