Osun 2022: Oyetola, Adeleke bicker over report alleging over voting

Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and Governor-elect Ademola Adeleke have disagreed over a report by an international observer, YIAGA Africa that there was over voting in the 2022 governorship election.

The Nation gathered that YIAGA Africa, while making presentation and review over the governorship poll, in the presence of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials led by the Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja, revealed that there was over voting in 12 local governments during the exercise.

Oyetola, through his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) only lost the vote count and not the election.

He said: “The position of YIAGA Africa in Osun election has vindicated my position that Oyetola only lost the vote count, not the election. An analysis of the number of registered voters and the permanent voter cards (PVCs) collected by polling units showed some inconsistencies in the data.

“Findings from the analysis on the Osun PVC collection data disclosed that the total number of PVCs collected for 30 polling units was greater than the total number of registered voters in those polling units. These inconsistencies were recorded in 12 councils.”

He said according to reports by YIAGA Africa, the organisation curated an Election Results Analysis Dashboard (ERAD) as an independent audit and integrity test assessment tool for the results management of INEC. Eighty-seven results were not processed on the ERAD, due to some issues.

“Based on the results entered on the ERAD database, there was a variation in the total number of rejected ballots and the figures announced by INEC at the final collation.”

He noted that Blurry images and poorly captured photographs of result sheets were uploaded on the IReV portal, adding that the presiding officers uploaded truncated images of result sheets.

“In other words, the images omitted segments of the result sheets.

Section 47(2) of the Electoral Act says to vote, the presiding officer shall use the smart card reader or any other technological device that may be prescribed by the commission for the accreditation of voters to “verify, authenticate the intending voter in the manner prescribed by the commission.”

“For the purpose of Osun election, INEC has prescribed the BVAS (Bimodal Voters Accreditation System) as the only credible means of accreditation. But from the report we got from the field, in many of the polling units, BVAS was not used appropriately. It didn’t capture the number of accredited voters. But we did not rely mainly on the report we got from our poling agents. We also demanded by law for a CTC of the report of BVAS from INEC, and we got it.

“The CTC of the report of BVAS across 10 local governments in 749 polling units showed that accreditation through BVAS was less than the number of votes cast in those units.”

However, the Deputy Director General of Governor-elect Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Kolapo Alimi, speaking with The Nation, said: “YIAGA had commended the election, noting that it was free and fair. It agreed with over 60 observers, local and international. It is suspicious that the same organisation is now coming after two months to condemn the process.

“Their report complained about 30 polling units across 12 local governments. They complained about discrepancies between the number of PVCs collected and several people who voted. They are not even talking about over voting. YIAGA has forgotten that people were still collecting PVCs until Thursday that preceded the election. Their report doesn’t affect the petition before the tribunal.

“The issue is that there are some units, which did not synchronise on the server of INEC. The figures of accredited voters were sent to the server, but there were some units which did not synchronise on the server because two or more BVAS were used. They want to capitalise on that one because the records have not been synchronised on the server. This occurred at about 1,700 units and it occurred more where APC won, numbering about 1000 polling units.

“This is not as a result of any manipulation, but because of network issue. The multiple BVAS used on Election Day failed to be uploaded on the server. So, YIAGA Africa’s report should be disregarded because it is an afterthought.”

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