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Presidential election trial – Jonathan won insists INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday urged the Presidential Election Tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), challenging the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] and to uphold the poll’s result as credible, free and fair.
INEC made the submissions yesterday as the ruling PDP expressed confidence that Jonathan’s election would be validated by the tribunal.

The electoral body told the five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Kumas Akaahs that the election that produced President Jonathan was adjudged to be free and fair by both local and international observers as well as majority of Nigerians.

Giving evidence on the credibility of the poll, the Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Boniface Egboka, who was the Collation Officer for Anambra State, said there was no case of manipulation of results as alleged by the petitioner in favour of President Jonathan.

Egboka, who was led in evidence by INEC’s counsel, Chief Onyechi Ikepeazu (SAN), said: “All accredited agents of the political parties, had free access to me at the designated centre, but none of the agents lodged any complaint to me of any malpractice with regards to the results of the elections. In addition, available and willing agents endorsed the final result sheet and copies were given to them.

“I know that there was no case of manipulation of results of any sort, whether physical or through electronic means from the polling units to the Collation Centre at the state level where the final results were eventually collated and were subsequently submitted to the Chief Returning Officer.
He said: “All the allegations of multiple voting, manipulation of results, ballot box stuffing or any malpractice in the polling units did not come to my attention.”

Prof. Egboka denied allegations by the CPC that collation of the election result in Anambra State was done at Barnhill Hotel.
“I categorically state that the Collation Centre for Anambra State was the INEC head quarters, Awka. I collated the result from the Local Government Areas of Anambra State only at the legally-designated centre, which was the INEC headquarters. I did not at any time proceed to Barnhill Hotel for that purpose or for any purpose connected with the presidential election of April 16, 2011. I know that what I collated at the state level was the true and accurate reflection of the votes cast and recorded in the respective polling units and collated at the wards and local government area collation centres.

Another witness, Amadi Chukwunolum Chinyere, also testified to the authenticity of Anambra result.
The witness, who participated in the election as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, denied allegations by the petitioner that she was arrested with thump-printed ballot papers in favour of President Jonathan during the election. 
They were both cross-examined by counsel to the petitioner and Director of Legal Services, Abubakar Malami (SAN), even as they maintained their positions on the matter.

After their submissions, Chief Ikepeazu prayed the tribunal for an adjournment to call other witnesses today. The request was granted and the tribunal adjourned proceedings for today.
INEC is to call 16 witnesses to prove that the election was free, and fair in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 [as amended].

The five-man panel was led by Justice Kumas Akaahs
Meanwhile, the PDP has expressed confidence that the petition would be thrown out at the end of the day because the election that produced its candidate as President was free and fair.

Speaking through its National Secretary, Prof. Rufai Akali, the party said that although the CPC had the right to challenge the result of the election in court, it is 100 per cent sure that victory will come the way of President Jonathan “because he won convincingly and there is absolutely nothing in the CPC’s petition that can sway the minds of the court to invalidate the election.
Prof Akali, who was in court with the National Legal Adviser, Chief Olusola Oke to observe the proceedings, appealed to opposition parties and all Nigerians to rally round the President and give him the maximum support to implement his transformation agenda.


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Posted by on Sep 26 2011. Filed under Elections 2011, INEC Politics, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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