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AREGBESOLA FAULTS VOTING PERIOD IN FINAL ADDRESS

By NBF NEWS
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Osun State Action Congress governorship candidate in the 2007 poll, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has told the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo that the total number of votes recorded in the April 14, 2007 election was at variance with the time allocated for the election.

This assertion was contained in the final written address filed by Aregbesola before the tribunal.

An investigation by our correspondent showed that the petitioner's final written address was filed by one of his lawyers, Mr. Ajibola Bashiru, on Monday.

A copy of the address, which was obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, said that the total number of votes returned by the Independent National Electoral Commission in some of the 10 local government councils being challenged by the AC suggested that each voter spent 18.57 seconds to vote.

Aregbesola challenged the results of election in 10 local government councils, saying that election in the councils were fraught with massive ballot stuffing, ballot snatching, violence and intimidation.

The councils included Odo-Otin, where Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola hails from and Atakumosa-West, where Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Olusola Obada, hails from.

Others included Ife-East, Ife-Central, Ife-South, Aiyedaade, Isokan, Boripe, Boluwaduro and Ifedayo.

Aregbesola contended that, 'Considering the number of votes allegedly posted in most of the polling units being challenged and having regard to the period of the voting and the average (time) it will take a voter to go through the process of voting, the results posted in most of the units could not have been products of legitimate voting.'

The petitioner argued that constraints such as late arrival of electoral materials, verification of voters and absence of security, among others, made it impossible for voting to continue for the seven-hour duration of the election without interruption.

Specifically, Aregebsola pointed out that the 491 votes recorded at the Oba Ojomu Okuku polling unit, where Oyinlola voted, could not have been achieved within seven hours which translated to 420 minutes.

The AC candidate contended that if 491 persons voted within 420 minutes, this means that each voter spent 51.32 seconds to vote.

Faulting the number of votes returned by INEC in Ibodi unit, where the deputy governor voted, Aregbesola said it was impossible to return 961 within 420 minutes, stressing that the situation meant that each voter spent 26.28 seconds to vote.