Declare me winner of Ondo governorship poll, PDP candidate, Oke, tells tribunal

PDP's Olusola Oke

Olusola Oke alleged that the voters register used by INEC was not credible as it had been tampered with by the commission.

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last governorship election in Ondo State, Olusola Oke, has told the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure to declare him the winner of the election.

Alternatively, Mr. Oke prayed the Andovar Kaka’an led tribunal to cancel the entire results as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and order a fresh election in the state.

Mr. Oke, who gave evidence before the court, said based on his complaints about the conduct of the election; he scored the majority of the lawful votes cast at the poll.

The PDP candidate said he had two prayers before the tribunal, which were based on the manner in which the election was conducted. According to him, it was not in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.

The petitioner, in his statement on oath before the tribunal, said there were wide spread malpractices in many parts of the state on the day of election, which invalidate the results declared by INEC in the affected areas of the state.

He also alleged that the voters register used for the election by INEC, which is the basis of any election, was not credible as it had been tampered with by the commission.

According to Mr. Oke, the voters register used by INEC for the 2011 general election had been tampered with before the October 20, 2012 election as the names on the register had increased from over 1.5 million voters to over 1.6 million voters.

He said since there was no voters registration exercise after the 2011 general election, the commission had a duty to explain to the tribunal how the figure on the register rose from 1.5 million to 1.6 million.

During cross examination by Adebayo Adenipekun, counsel to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, the PDP candidate said he registered and voted at Olorialufa/Otumara unit in Ilowo, Ilaje Local Government Area of the Ondo State.

He said election materials arrived on time in his unit as accreditation was done and he voted at about 1 p.m. on the day of election.

When asked how he got information about other units across the state, Mr. Oke said he moved from his unit in Ilaje to some local government areas in the state which include Okitipupa, Odigbo, Ondo West, Ondo East and Akure South.

The candidate also said there was no restriction on movement of people that were on election duty on the day of election and denied that he was arrested while moving around on Election Day.

He, however, said the copies of form EC8A, which were the result sheets for the election at the unit level given to his agents in many parts, were different from the Certified True Copies obtained from INEC. According to him, the results had been falsified after the filling of the petition.

After about four hours in the witness box, Mr. Oke closed his case with a prayer that he should be declared the winner. The tribunal adjourned sitting to Tuesday, March 12, to enable the first respondent, Mr. Mimiko, open his defence.