Presidential election results distorted at Ward collation centres,  Atiku's witness tells Court

Alleges that BVAS was manipulated in favour of a particular party

Presidential election results distorted at Ward collation centres,  Atiku's witness tells Court
Justice Tsammani, PEPC Chairman

By Solomon Onyilo

A witness told the Presidential Election Petition Court on Friday that real distortions of election results during  the  last presidential election took place at the various Ward collation centres.

Nicholas Msheliza, witness  of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in his petition against the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, told the court  that it was a disaster at ward collation centres as officials of the national electoral body changed the polling unit results  of the presidential election.

In his evidence in Chief, Msheliza who  claimed to be a businessman and the Borno State Collation Agent  for PDP in the February 25 presidential poll alleged that ballot papers and result sheets were manipulated by compromised electoral officers in the various Ward collation centres.

Led in evidence by Atiku's lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN, the witness alleged that he was present in several polling units where Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) were manipulated in favour of a particular party.

During cross examination, he told the court that elections were conducted peacefully but that BVAS usage was bypased in 10 local government areas of the state during the election in the sate. 

According to the witness, some PDP  party agents were not allowed to do their work by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

Another witness who testified on Friday, Sani Idris Kultigi, said he  served as PDP Niger state Collation Agent but  did not sign the election result because the process was fraught with irregularities.

Under cross examination by APC counsel Lateef Fagbemi SAN, the witness vehemently disagreed with the 375,183 votes allotted to APC and the 284,898 votes he claimed were allotted to PDP.He said that he declined to sign the result because of the discrepancy in the result compared with the actual votes scored by the parties. He, however, admitted that he did not provide the actual score of the parties in his statement on oath. 

Another witness, Silas Joseph Onu, a lawyer from Ebonyi state who acted as the state Collation Agent said that some of PDP agents were chased out from their posts during the election and the incidents were reported to the police.

Onu said that out of 2,964 polling Units in the state he visited quite a number of them and verified from PDP agents the report about the irregularities.

Under cross examination by Akin Olujimi SAN, who representted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the witness said that the results of the election in the state were not transmitted from polling units to IReV which ought to have been the final stage of the election process.

When confronted with his claim in statement on oath that rigging took place in all the polling units, the witness said that he visited some polling units and not all the polling units.