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Tribunal: I Was Forced To Sign Presidential Poll Result In Kogi – Witness

Friday 2 June 2023

A witness for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, made some revelations on Thursday at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja.

Atiku and the PDP are challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the presidential election held on February 25.

During the court proceedings, Abubakar’s first witness, retired Capt. Joe Agada, who served as the State Collation Agent of the PDP in Kogi State for the general election, claimed he was compelled to sign the presidential election result by officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Agada stated that the officials refused to provide him with a copy of the results unless he signed the document.

Under the guidance of Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, the witness asserted that the presidential election result in Kogi State was manipulated.

He went on to reveal that over 20 polling units where he personally witnessed the manipulation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines.

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He said: “My lords, apart from where I voted, which was at Ogene- Oforachi village in Ogugu Ward in Kogi State, I also served as my party’s State Collation Agent.

“I had a tag and a vehicle with a sticker that identified me as being on election duty. The exemption tag which was issued to me by INEC, allowed me to move around on the election day.

“I had the opportunity of visiting some highlighted polling units in my LGA, even though I did not visit all the polling units.”

When cross-examined by counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu, SAN, the witness said he observed all the manipulations in Kogi state during the election.

“My lords, I am a witness of truth. I did not visit all the polling units, but I was present when BVAS in over 20 PUs were being manipulated across the two Senatorial Districts that I visited.

“I may not be exact, but there are nothing less than 3500 polling units in Kogi State.

“I spent between three to five minutes in each of the polling units that I visited,” the witness added.

Asked if agents of the PDP signed the result sheets, the witness, said: “Yes, our agents signed the Forms EC8A, EC8B and EC8C.

“But they were forced to sign the results, especially in Kogi state, because INEC said they would not give us copies unless we signed.”

Asked if as the State Collation Agent of the PDP, he signed the result sheet, he said: “My lords, I was forced to sign the state collection result because without signing, they said they would deny me a copy to take to my party.

“I thereafter protested and also wrote a petition to INEC,” the witness told the court, even as he admitted that he served as State Collation Agent for the PDP in 2015 and also appeared as a witness in the 2019 presidential election dispute between Atiku and former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“In 2015, I refused to sign the result. But at that time, INEC did not deny me a copy to take to my party. But this year, the INEC man insisted that they would not give me a copy unless I signed the result,” Capt. Agada, retd, added.

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via: Information Nigeria

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