By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
The National Collation Agent of the People’s Democratic Party PDP in the February 25 presidential election, Senator Dino Melaye on Friday in Abuja told the Presidential Election Petition Court that election collation errors by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC led to declaration of President Bola Tinubu.
Melaye informed the Court that’s he left the National Collation Center at the International Conference Centre in Abuja when the alleged deliberate errors became unbearable and intolerabble to him.
Senator Melaye testified as a Star Witness for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar whose joint petition with PDP is seeking nullification of Tinubu’s declaration as winner of the 2023 Presidetial election.
Led in his evidence-in -Chief by Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN, the witness said that he refused to sign the final collated results so as not to be part of corruption and malpractices that allegedly engulfed the collation exercise.
Melaye who is the second Star Witness in the hearing of the petition insisted that the results which INEC acted upon to declare Tinubu winner of the February 25 presidential election “was wrongly computed by INEC”, adding that, “I didn’t endorse it, because I don’t endorse fraud.
He also told the court that besides himself, many agents of the PDP in the presidential election did not also sign the results at various levels.
While responding to questions from Tinubu’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, the witness argued that “failure of transmission of what has been recorded is an infringement of the law”.
He pointed out that electronic transmission of results from the polling units unto the IReV is a very important aspect of the election process, arguing that with IReV the election circle cannot be said to have been completed.
“Result is transmitted from polling units before you move to the ward collation center”, he explained, adding that what was brought was at variance with what transpired at the states level.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Mr Peter Obi, on Friday tendered additional video evidence to support claims that INEC assured on electronic transmission of results of the 2023 general elections.
The video clip containing live speeches of INEC’s Chairman Professor Yakubu Mahmood was tendered by a subpoenaed witness and staff of Daar Communication Ltd, AIT Mrs Ijeoma Osamo.
The video evidence contained in FlashDrive which was admitted as an exhibit, was also played in the open court showed a live broadcast of the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud reassuring Nigerians of the commitments of the commission to transmit the election results in real-time.
However, during cross-examination by APC’s lawyer, Mr Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN, the witness denied knowledge of any press conference by INEC where the commission clarified to Nigerians that the election can no longer be transmitted electronically.
Meanwhile, hearing in both petitions have been adjourned till Monday, June 19.