CPC DOCTORED REPORT -PDP, INEC
Going by the admission of Ahmed Dangiwa, consultant to Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), there are cases of repetition of some votes for the party in his report, which CPC has given to the Katsina State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Katsina.
But it was not another case of attempt at rigging, he averred at the tribunal before it adjourned proceedings till the end of the ongoing annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
In Ahmed Dangiwa's words, 'I was confused by the INEC manual for the election.'
Dangiwa's admission came as the counsel to the State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) went on the offensive against the report of his forensic examination of the April 26th governorship poll.
The lawyers claimed that the result computed by the said expert was filled with irregularities - such as repetition of votes and miscalculations among others.
The lead counsel to PDP, Chief Wole Olanipekun, and INEC counsel, M. O. Mejele, holding the brief of Rowland Otaru, who made this known at the tribunal, rubbished the CPC'S bid to decipher and clarify the result of the governorship election. Interestingly, the expert, Ahmed Dangiwa, is a CPC faithful and an architect with master's degrees in business administration and architecture respectively, he took some courses in data management in addition to an extensive knowledge of several computer applications.
But the lawyers picked holes in the outcome of his analysis of the possible election result rigging, stressing that the effort covered less than 25 per cent of the 4901 polling units in the state among other shortcomings.
All the respondents to the petition of Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, challenging the victory of Governor Shema at the April 26th election, told the tribunal presided over by Florence Jombo – Ofo, that the report should be of no value to it.
The counsel also called on the tribunal to reject the result in its entirety and adopt INEC declared result as free, fair and credible. According to them, the repetition of CPC's scores and all manner of wrongs uncovered in the report were part of a calculated efforts to mislead the tribunal. The CPC's consultant however blamed the said faults on the confusion he encountered as a result of the guidelines for the election as contained in the INEC manual.
Dangiwa, who spoke under cross examination, however declared that he had no doubt that the April 26 election did not meet acceptable standard of a free and fair election. He also reiterated his stand on his last June statement on oath that, most of the voters' registers used in the election were neither signed nor dated by the presiding officers. After he was referred to the INEC manual, under further cross examination, he however admitted that it should have been the responsibility of INEC to sign the registers contrary to his earlier position.
The matter was adjourned for the continuation of the adoption of the petitioner's witnesses' previous statements on oath and cross examination.