By Wandoo Sombo
Abuja, June 16, 2023
Sen. Dino Melaye, a star witness of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that the final result of the presidential election was wrongly computed and announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Melaye, the 22nd witness of the petitioners made the assertion on Friday in Abuja.
Led in evidence by the petitioner’s lead counsel, Mr. Chris Uche, SAN, Melaye who told the court that he was PDP’s National Collation Agent, identified himself as a businessman and a politician.
The witness said that the presidential result, as announced by INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, was wrongly computed and that he refused to sign the results.
He added that he walked out of the national collation centre before the end of the process as the national collation agent of the petitioners when he discovered the fraudulent activities going on at the centre.
Under cross-examination by INEC’s lawyer, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, Melaye said most PDP agents across the country did not sign the Form EC8As which were the result from the polling units.
The witness further said that the results brought to the national collation centre by state electoral officers were at variance with the results recorded in the states.
Melaye said that he had three major grouses with the conduct of the election one of which was the refusal of INEC to transmit the election results electronically to its portal.
He said his depositions in his statements were based on his personal experience at the national collation centre and information from the party agents across the country who reported to him as the national collation agent of the party.
He also said that some of the reports given by the agents were live feeds of what was happening at their locations real time through the use of technology.
Under cross examination by counsel to President Bola Tinubu, Mr. Akin Olujinmi, SAN, Melaye said that the failure of INEC to transmit results from Form EC8As to its I-ReV was an infringement of the law.
He, however, said that the result captured in Form EC8A could not be changed even where it was not transmitted electronically.
The witness further told the court that as a contributor to the drafting of the Electoral Act, the conduct of the presidential election was not done according to the law.
He said that that electronic transmission of results from the polling units unto the IReV was a very important aspect of the election process, adding that without that, the election circle could not be said to have been completed.
“Result is transmitted from polling units before you move to the ward collation center.”
When asked to give the actual scores of Atiku in the election since he claimed the scores were wrongly computed, the witness said that he did not calculate them directly but that they were calculated through his statistician.
The five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani then discharged Melaye from the witness box after all the respondents had questioned him.
The petitioners also tendered two sets of documents acquired from INEC via a subpoena issued on May 26 at Friday’s proceeding.
The documents are the certified true copies of Forms EC8A series from 13 local government areas of Nasarawa.
The second set of documents are Forms EC40G and Form EC40G (2), which were summaries of polling units where elections were cancelled or disrupted.
All the respondents objected to the admissibility of the documents saying they would advance reasons for their objections at the final address stage.
The documents were, however, admitted in evidence.
The court subsequently adjourned proceedings until June 19.