Unavailable report stalls hearing on tampered INEC machine

FILE PHOTO: Voters casting their vote (3)
FILE PHOTO: Voters casting their vote

Six men are accused of the tampering with DDC machines in the last elections.

Hearing on a two-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful revision of voters’ register brought against four defendants by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, could not hold on Monday as scheduled due to non-presentation of a data analysis report.

The report was to serve as evidence in the ongoing trial of Osunlola Akinyinka, Olufemi Samuel, Dauda Oladeji and Salami Adetola.

The accused led by Mr. Osunlola, an INEC officer, were arrested in an hotel at Bodija, Ibadan on March 19, 2011 for allegedly tampering with some electoral materials.

They were caught with six Direct Data Capture, DDC, machines, one laptop, 11 chargers, and other electoral materials belonging to INEC during the 2011 polls.

Asking the court for an adjournment on Monday, counsel to the accused, Rotimi Alli, said without the report, it would be impossible to establish whether the six DDC machines belonging to INEC were tampered with or not.

“We want to have report on police investigation on the INEC’s six DDC machines said to have been recovered from my clients. This will enable us to move forward in this case. If they are saying a machine has been tampered with, we have to get the result of the examination,” he said.

The lawyer also told the court that he was already in possession of an uncertified copy of the report.

“We will, therefore, call for an adjournment for the court to issue a subpoena on the police to tender the certified-true-copy.”

Reacting, INEC’s lawyer, Shuaib Alanra, said his client had told him that it does not yet have a certified true copy of an outcome of the investigation. He noted that the defence counsel should have applied for the document if he knew he needed it to argue his case.

The presiding judge, A. A. Aderemi, agreed with the defence lawyer on the need to adjourn the case to give the accused the opportunity to apply for a certified-true-copy of the outcome of the investigation. She then adjourned to September 25 and 26; and October 3.

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