Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, have queried the process of collation of election results of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state.
The APC and its flag-bearer raised questions about the results collation exercise in a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which was signed by Mr Godwin Anaughe, the party’s Director of Election and Strategy.
The APC alleged in the petition that the collation of election results from all polling units and centres across the state was done in breach of the Electoral Act 2022.
In a statement made available to journalists in Asaba yesterday, APC argued that “following the conduct and announcement of results, the Electoral Act makes provision for the collation of the announced results to determine the winner of the election.”
It added that “Section 64(4) of the Electoral Act provides that, “a collation officer or returning officer at an election shall collate and announce the result of an election, subject to his or her verification and confirmation that the: (a) number of accredited voters stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units under section 47(2) of this Act; and (b) the votes stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the votes or results recorded and transmitted directly from polling units under section 60(4) of this Act”.
It noted that “the All Progressives Congress in the course of this state collation exercise, has raised questions as to the correctness of the votes stated in the collated results being produced from many of the local government areas before the returning officer as it is contemplated under section 64(6) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which provides:
“Where during the collation of results, there is a dispute regarding a collated result or the result of an election from any polling unit, the collation officer or returning officer shall use the following to determine the correctness of the disputed result – (a) the original of the disputed collated results for each of the polling units where the election is disputed; (b) the smart card reader (in this case-the BVAS) used for accreditation of the voters in each of polling units where the election is disputed; (c) data of accreditation recorded and transmitted directly from each polling unit where the election is disputed as prescribed under section 47(2) of this Act; and (d) the votes and results of the election recorded and transmitted directly from each polling unit where the election is disputed under section 60(4) of this Act,” the statement explained.
The APC stressed that “for the avoidance of doubt, without prejudice to the correctness of any collated result, as may arise from any inquest, the APC has disputed and is still disputing before this collation body, the correctness of the collated results from all polling units” in the local government areas of the state.”