Agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye and Emeka Ihedioha have angrily walked out of National Collation Centre for the presidential election results at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Monday.
Melaye, who represented Kogi West Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly and Emeka Ihedioha, a former governor of Imo State and ex-speaker of the House of Representatives, with other party agents, staged a walk out on the national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at ongoing the collation of presidential election results in Abuja.
While the results were being announced by collation officers of different states for the presidential election, Dino and some agents of other political parties questioned the figures being announced for some states, alleging that there were discrepancies between results announced and what was obtained from polling units.
They demanded that the Commission should do the projection of polling units results from the states before each result was announced to enable everyone compare what were uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal and what were manually collated and presented in hard copies to the national collation secretariat.
Melaye while insisting on the projection of the polling units results as announcement of results went on, argued that the Electoral Act 2022 provided for electronic accreditation of voters and transmission of election results right from polling units to INEC Portal as a way of ensuring transparency in the electoral process, particularly the results being announced.
Melaye and other party agents observed that the results presented by INEC State Collation Officers for the Presidential Election (SCOPEs) weren’t uploaded on the commission’s IREV, as repeatedly promised by the electoral body before the February 25 presidential poll.
They further argued that if the results are available in the IReV portal, it would help in verifying the figures being announced and detect where there is a case of manipulation.
“The electoral Act 2022 states that election results will be transmitted directly to the server. We found out that this has not been done because INEC failed in this regard.
“When I raised this issue today and supported by other party agents, the INEC Chairman vehemently evaded the issue. What section 47(3) emphasis is that where ever the BVAS failed, if they cannot get a replacement, elections should be cancelled in those areas. We have seen from the presentation of results from Ekiti yesterday that some places were cancelled as a result of bypassing the BVAS.
“The only way to detect that BVAS has been bypassed is for us to see the uploaded results. We insisted that the chairman should show us here and now the uploaded results state by state, just like they are projecting the results they are presenting. That is the only way to test the veracity and authenticity of these results.
“If not, we are only here to endorse the fraud that has been done from unit to the ward to the state. We are not here to rubber stamp infractions and the anomalies that have been done.
“We are here to check them, but the INEC Chairman is not giving us the opportunity to question what they are doing, saying all has been done. What that mean is that we are here to rubber stamp. We are going to prove that we are not here to rubber stamp. We have no other country to call our own than this country,” Melaye told journalists at the centre.