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Osun Tribunal: Adeleke calls in forensic expert on BVAS, election materials

  • Politics

A forensic expert, Samuel Oduntan, on Thursday appeared before the Osun Election Petitions Tribunal in defence of the forensic report conducted on some election materials/BVAS machines in the July 16 governorship elections.

The forensic report was also admitted as exhibits by the tribunal after Mr Oduntan was crossed-examined by the petitioners’ counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN).

Mr Oduntan told the court that the respondent (Governor Ademola Adeleke) had also instructed him to conduct a physical inspection and digital forensic examination on the BVAS machines used for the election.

He said it was also pursuant to the tribunal’s order on September 2, 2022, directing INEC to allow the second respondent to inspect all the electoral materials used in the election.

Mr Oduntan said his observations were reached in consonance with the global best practices required of a Statistician/ forensic examiner in reaching the observations and discoveries made therein.

“I examined BVAS machines obtained from INEC, CTC of Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C & EC8D. I also examined CTC of Forms EC40G , INEC Osun State Directory of Polling Units, 2022; BVAS Authentication Report and BVAS Machines,” he stated.

Other documents examined are INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, 2022, and Manual for Election Officials, 2022.

Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olujimi, cross-examined another witness presented by the second respondent (Mr Adeleke), Bunmi Jenyo, on the educational qualification of Mr Adeleke.

Mr Jenyo told the court that Mr Adeleke did not forge any certificate or conflict in his certificates and was qualified to contest the election.

He said all the schools attended by the governor in the United States confirmed his certificates and transcripts across the various schools.

“The certificates and schools attended were also reviewed, and their legality was confirmed by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education.

In his response, Mr Olujinmi questioned the authenticity of some documents tendered by Mr Jenyo before the court and reserved his contention in his final written address.

The third respondent (PDP) counsel, Alex Iziyon (SAN), opened his case and informed the court that he was not calling any witnesses.

Mr Iziyon said he relied on the other witnesses called by the first and second respondents.

The tribunal judge, Tertsea Kume, however, adjourned the case until January 13, 2023, for the continuation of the hearing.

Former Governor Gboyega Oyetola had approached the tribunal to contest the declaration of Mr Adeleke as the winner of the July 16 elections.

INEC had declared Mr Adeleke was the winner of the election, with 402,349 votes to beat Mr Oyetola, who polled 374,256. 

(NAN )