The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied the allegation of deducting 2.5 million votes from the scores obtained by the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi.
INEC made the denial in its final address to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in the case by Obi and his party challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election as declared by the commission.
Naija News recalls Peter Obi of the Labour Party who is challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 polls before the election tribunal, alleged through his witness before the tribunal that results from certain polling units show that a total of 2,565,269 votes were not reflected in his score, aside from his claim of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022.
However, in their final written address dated July 14, INEC’s lead counsel, A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), said Obi failed to provide credible evidence to back his claim and therefore asked the court to dismiss the petition.
Mahmoud added that Obi’s witness failed to tender before the PEPC the polling unit results he used in writing his report leading to claims of a deduction.
“Curiously, if the 18, 088 Polling Unit results as uploaded on iReV are blurred, what of the duplicate copies in the possession of the Petitioners’ Polling Agents?
“We submit that the totality of the testimony and evidence of the so-called experts (PWs 4, 7, and 8) called by the Petitioners are manifestly unreliable and cannot ground the incidents of non-compliance pleaded by the Petitioners.
“We submit that there is no credible evidence to prove that votes in those 18,088 polling units were suppressed, just because blurred results were allegedly uploaded on the iReV. The petitioners have only left the same to conjecture and speculation which never form part of the determination of the Court,” Mahmoud stated.
Mahmoud argued that INEC conducted the election within the confines of the law and therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the claim by Obi and his party.
“No attempt was made by the Petitioners to present any of their Polling Agents’ copies to show any discrepancy since the blurred results were alleged to have been uploaded to suppress votes,” the lawyer submitted.