The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, Senator Dino Melaye, has said that other party agents at the Centre were not rubber stamps.
To test the authenticity of the presidential results being collated at the Centre, the former lawmaker requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should display the uploaded results on its portal a screen at the Centre for all to see.
He claimed that the party agents were not going to endorse the alleged “fraud that has been done from the units to the ward and the state levels.
Melaye spoke to journalists shortly after the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, declared a break.
Melaye had earlier raised concerns about the presidential election results in Ekiti and Kwara States.
Melaye said, “Where a smart card reader or any other technological device deployed for accreditation of voters fails to function in any unit and a fresh card reader or technological device is not deployed, the election in that unit shall be cancelled and another election shall be scheduled within 24 hours if the Commission is satisfied that the result of the election in that polling unit will substantially affect the final result of the whole election and declaration of a winner in the constituency concerned.”
However, Melaye did not mention areas where the BVAS machines failed.
But, according to Prof. Yakubu, “I still insist that the figure presented by the state collection officer for the presidential election for Ekiti state. The total number of accredited voters is 315,058. This is what is on the spreadsheet that we screened yesterday. And this is also what is on the actual result manual recorded by the SCOPE and signed by the PDP agent and agents of other political parties back in Ekiti State.
“But having said that, I’ve taken note of your observations, let us make progress on that one. But what we have here is exactly what I’ve said. And any other figure that is at variance with this one cannot supersede the official result presented. Let’s make progress.”
Melaye, however, recalled that the agents raised the issue of the fact that in accordance with the provision of the Electoral Act, Section 60 and section 64 of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) that there will be transmission of results from the polling units.
He said the INEC chairman has repeatedly told Nigerians that there will be transmission of a lot of results from polling units directly to the server.
He said the parties discovered that this has not been done.
Melaye said INEC failed in this regard.
He continued, “When this issue was raised today, supported by other party agents, the national chairman of INEC evaded vehemently because what Section 47(3) emphasizes is that wherever the BVAS failed, if they cannot get a replacement, election should be cancelled in those areas.
“And we have seen from the presentation of the results from yesterday that some places were cancelled as a result of bypassing BVAS. So the only way to detect that BVAS have been bypassed is for us to see the uploaded results.
“And we insisted that the chairman should show us here now the uploaded results state by state just like the way they are displaying the collated results they are presenting and 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 the units to the ward and the states. We are not here to rubber stamp infractions. We are not here to rubber-stamp the abnormalities that have been done.
“We are here to check them but the national chairman of INEC is not allowing us to question what they are doing. He is saying that all has been done meaning we are here to rubber stamp and we are going to prove that we are not here to rubber stamp. We have no other country to call our home but this country.”
He said the agents are going to do everything humanly possible to make sure that the right thing is done.
“We have just met now with other political parties and we are going to make a presentation by the time we resume and if they insist that they are not going to respond to us then you will see the action we will take.
“We will not allow it. We have suffered a lot of pain in this country, suffered poverty, hunger, kidnapping, and killings. We will not allow a continuation of failure. We must make sure that the right thing is done.
“Nigerians are watching, the world is watching, even the dead are watching to see what INEC will do, but the battle to make sure that only authentic results will be announced here today is a battle of no retreat, no surrender,” he added.