By Press Unit
Gentlemen of the Press, we have called you to update you on our observations and concerns on the ongoing collation of results of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It is very clear from the votes as cast at the Polling Units across the country, that the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar substantially defeated the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in line with the expressed aspiration and Will of Nigerians.
However, it is alarming that INEC is aiding and abetting the rigging and manipulation of the election results in favour of the APC by flagrant and provocative violation of the express provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 by refusing and neglecting to transmit directly the results of the elections from the Polling Unit to the INEC Server/Website as required by law.
For clarity, Section 64 (4) (b) of the Electoral Act, 2022 specifically provide thus:
“A collation officer or returning officer at an election shall collate and announce the result of an election subject to his or her verification and confirmation that the - (b) “votes stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the votes or results recorded and transmitted directly from Polling Units under Section (60) (4) of this Act”.
Consequent on the above Section 60 (4) of the Electoral Act 2022, any result announced by INEC is ultra vires, illegal, and of no consequence unless they are results already transmitted DIRECTLY from the Polling Units.
So procedurally, INEC cannot continue to announce results that are yet to be transmitted as expressly stated in the relevant Sections of the Electoral Act.
The integrity of this election has been compromised and vitiated by the admission of INEC officials that there was a technical glitch in the midst of the election which affected the effective functioning of the BVAS machines.
Furthermore, the Integrity of the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu is at stake having regard to his multiple representation and assurances to Nigerians and the International Community that the Electoral Act 2022, is a game changer that will guarantee a free, fair and transparent electoral process especially as it relates to the direct transmission of election results from Polling Units at all elections.
It is therefore curious that the INEC Chairman will insist on proceeding with the announcement of election results which are not transmitted directly from the Polling Units to the INEC Server/Website as required by the Electoral Act.
Information at our disposal indicates that INEC deliberately refused to commence the process of announcement of results more than 48 hours after the close of election and collation of results from the various Polling Units, which result by law was expected to be transmitted directly into INEC Server/Website as provided for under Section 68 of the Electoral Act 2022.
This deliberate delay and criminal connivance by INEC provided the opportunity for the reported compromise, alteration, falsification and switching of election results in favour of the APC in Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Ondo, Ekiti, Kebbi, Ogun and other States where our candidate was in clear lead.
The PDP therefore rejects the manipulated election results as announced by INEC.
Our Party cautions that INEC is pushing Nigerians to the wall by announcing manipulated results.
We are aware that INEC embarked on extensive and illegal cancellation of election results in many States of the country. For instance, in Sokoto State over 200 Polling Units results where the PDP is in clear lead have also been canceled thereby disenfranchising over 200,000 registered voters.
The PDP on behalf of Nigerians and in the interest of national peace, demands that INEC halts further announcement of manipulated results and immediately transit the authentic elections results from the Polling Units directly its Server/Website as required by law before continuation of announcement of results.
INEC should know that our Party, majority of informed Nigerians as well as International Election Observers already have the results of votes as cast at the Polling Units across the country. Our agents have been at alert and we have all the results in our data base.
The PDP will not hesitate to make public the election results as cast at the Polling Units if that becomes necessary.
Thank you and God bless Nigeria.
@views exclusive rights: Press Unit, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, being a text of the Press Conference by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Honourable Debo Ologunagba, on the Position of the PDP on the ongoing Collation of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election Results by INEC, February 27, 2023.