Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate, brought a witness to testify before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which is located in Abuja, on Thursday.
The announcement of President Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, as the victor of the presidential election that took place on February 25 is being contested by Atiku and his party.
Capt. Joe Agada, ret., Atiku’s first witness, revealed to the court during the court’s resumed hearings that he worked as the PDP’s state collation agent in Kogi State during the general election.
The witness said in court that Inec representatives coerced him to sign the presidential election results.
Unless he signed the document, the INEC officials, in his account, promised not to provide him a copy of the outcome to convey back to his party.
The witness, who was led in testimony by Atiku’s lead attorney, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, said that the Kogi State presidential election results were falsified.
He testified before the court that he noticed the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, or BVAS, devices being altered in over 20 of the voting places he visited.
In addition to voting in Kogi State’s Ogugu Ward’s Ogene-Oforachi village, he added: “My lords, I also served as my party’s State Collation Agent.
“I was clearly identifiable as being on election duty by a badge and a sticker on my car. On election day, I was free to walk around thanks to the exemption badge that INEC had given me.
Even though I didn’t attend every voting place in my LGA, I got the chance to visit some of the ones that were highlighted.
The witness stated on cross-examination by Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu, SAN, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that it would be accurate to claim that he saw all of the election-related manipulations that occurred in Kogi state.
“My lords, I bear truth as a witness. I didn’t go to every voting place, but I was there when the BVAS in over 20 PUs in the two senatorial districts I visited were rigged.
“Kogi State has no less than 3500 polling places if I’m not mistaken.
The witness said, “I spent between three and five minutes in each of the polling places that I visited.”
When asked if PDP representatives had signed the results sheets, the witness responded, “Yes, our representatives have signed Forms EC8A, EC8B, and EC8C.
But they were compelled to sign the results, particularly in Kogi state, since INEC threatened to withhold copies if we didn’t sign.
Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, the witness, responded to inquiries from one of the attorneys who represented President Tinubu by stating that the PDP had operatives in every voting location in the state.
When asked if he had signed the result sheet in his capacity as the PDP’s state collation agent, he responded, “My lords, I was compelled to sign the state collection result because they stated they would refuse me a copy to take to my party without signing.
The witness told the court, “I subsequently protested and also wrote a petition to INEC,” even as he acknowledged serving as a State Collation Agent for the PDP in 2015 and testifying in the 2019 presidential election dispute between Atiku and former President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I declined to sign the verdict in 2015. However, INEC did not object at the time and gave me a copy to bring to my party. Capt. Agada, ret., said, “But this year, the INEC official insisted that they would not give me a copy until I signed the outcome.