Presidential Poll: INEC wiped off results in BVAS, forensic expert tells court


The PDP and Atiku are protesting the declaration of Tinubu as the president by the Independent National Electoral Commission at the Presidential Elections Petition Court.

During the resumed hearing of their petition, the 26th witness in the petition, the witness led in evidence by the petitioners’ counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, submitted a report of his investigation carried out on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System.

The report was subsequently admitted as evidence and marked as exhibits despite objections by the respondents in the matter.

Thereafter, the petitioners tendered a certificate of compliance to indicate that the report has complied with the Evidence Act.

The expert witness, Hitler Nwala asserted that his findings show that the election results of the Federal Capital Territory during the presidential elections were deliberately deleted from the BVAS machine.

The witness told the court that “he worked on 110 BVAS machines which formed the primary source of information for his forensic report.”

He said that the machines inspected were only those from the FCT.

He, however, said that he didn’t know at what point the results were deleted on the machines.

Under cross-examination by counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, the witness said that he attached a standard device to the BVAS machine to carry out his investigation.

However, INEC challenged his allegation, insisting that because he did not inspect all the machines, his claim was wrong but the witness maintained his stance.

The senior counsel further asked the witness if he was aware that inspecting only 110 machines out of 3,163 that were deployed in the FCT amounted to only 3.4 per cent of the total number of BVAS deployed in the FCT and 0.06 per cent of BVAS deployed nationwide.

Mahmoud presented to the court, for demonstration, a BVAS machine which he asked the witness to access and show proof that the data was deleted.

The witness said it was professionally wrong for him to access the machine directly.

He said, “We don’t access the source of evidence directly. We extract the evidence and access it from another source.”

“If we access it now, the content will change and will tamper with the evidence. It is professionally wrong to tamper with evidence that will be relied upon in a court of law.”

INEC insisted the BVAS must be inspected in court. But the chairman of the five-man panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani informed the counsel that the allotted time for conducting his cross-examination had elapsed.

Meanwhile, counsel for Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, pointed out disparities in the forensic report concerning the number of machines inspected by the witness.

The senior advocate hinted that the report could equally be riddled with errors.

But the witness told the court that the differences dictated in the numbers were typographical errors.

After the witness was discharged, the petitioners went further to tender Forms EC8A series from 20 local government areas of Ogun, 17 local government areas of Ondo, 27 local government areas of Jigawa, and 20 local government areas of Rivers.

Thereafter, Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned the hearing of the petition until Friday.


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