ABIA GUBER TRIBUNAL: Inec reviews the authentic result in court

Mr Kelechi Kemjika Okere, a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abia state, who worked as the electoral officer for Obingwa LGA during the March 18, 2023 Governorship election in the state, has told the election petition tribunal that form EC8C marked as exhibit P188 is the authentic result for Obingwa LGA and not exhibit P38.

Recall that the People’s Democratic party, PDP (petitioners), tagged P188 as a fake result while they claimed that P38 is the authentic result for Obingwa.

Taking to the witness stand on Wednesday, August 23, Mr Okere said the figures recorded for both parties for Obingwa; PDP – 9,962; LP; 3,776 and total number of accredited voters; 27,664 on exhibit P188 is authentic.

He told the tribunal that all INEC field officers deployed to the 312 polling units in Obingwa LGA reported to him during the election using a feedback mechanism and also returned all election materials including BVAS machines to him afte the election. “In other words, I am the custodian of Obingwa LGA results.

“Form EC8C, where we have the INEC local government officer’s stamp is correct. The result declared in Exhibit P188 for Obingwa LGA is correct.

“An authentic LGA result must bear the INEC’s LG collation officer’s stamp” Okere stated during his cross examination by the respondents’ counsels. When given exhibit P38 to look at, he stated that the stamp on it is INEC’s Registration Area (RA) collation stamp adding that “RA is the same as the ward and not local government”. “The result on exhibit P38 is the valid result for Obingwa LGA” the witness reaffirmed.

When he was cross examined by Chief Uche Ihediwa, SAN one of PDP’s counsels, the witness said the opinion that the state returning officer, Prof. Nnenna Otti, refused collating the results from Obingwa at the state collation centre but took it to Abuja where results where allegedly inputted into exhibit P188, is false.

Having no other witness to present, the first respondent, closed their defence.

The tribunal adjourned till Thursday, August 24, for the 2nd respondent to open and close their defence.