#DeltaTribunal: Another PDP/Okowa Witness Contradicts Self, Fails to Discredit Accreditation Report
Yesterday, a subpoenaed INEC staff, Mercy Ehikhametalo, attempted to tender card readers accreditation status report as at April 16th and an Asaba INEC version of certified polling unit results on behalf of Okowa/PDP, but was denied by the tribunal. These documents sought to be tendered were found inadmissible because as computer generated documents, they were not accompanied by proper certification provided by INEC Abuja.
The OKOWA/PDP’s counsels tried in vain to admit the documents relying on an earlier ruling of the tribunal which allowed computer generated documents that resulted from personal intellectual capacity. However EMERHOR/APC’s counsel successfully showed that this particular evidence was purely computer-based and not intellectually generated. The tribunal ruled to reject the documents.
Under cross examination, the OKOWA/PDP witness contradicted the counsels, INEC and her own earlier statement on oath. She admitted that electronic card readers were used to authenticate and validate PVCs, she also stated that the card readers deployed were enough to cater for each polling unit and in most cases four(4) or five(5) were deployed so that in case there was malfunction of a card reader, it could be replaced. She also admitted to the tribunal that the INEC staffs including herself were properly and adequately trained on the use of the electronic card reader. Going further, she stated that the use of the electronic card reader was at the instance of an instruction by INEC headquarters which made it mandatory for the Governorship elections nationwide including Delta state. She however contradicted INEC headquarters stating that the “data generated from its server” and properly and duly certified and earlier admitted by the tribunal as exhibits, didn’t reflect the proper computer generated accredited figures. She stated that “Delta state INEC” had recorded 67.7% accredited voters leaving room for a remainder of 32.3% accredited voters by the 16th of April 2015.
She couldn’t however, fault the earlier card readers accreditation reports marked exhibit P1 and P1A generated by INEC headquarters as at 13th August 2015, as the properly stated accredited number of voters before the shut-down of INEC’s server. The witness went further to confirm that the electronic card reader uploaded data directly to the server without interference from a third party, against her earlier stance that there could have been human errors in uploading. Under further cross examination by EMERHOR/APC counsel, the witness admitted that the extent of uploading data from an electronic card reader can only be determined by the data base/ server from INEC headquarters and more so can only be certified by INEC headquarters. The witness could not produce the numbers and differences that reflects her computer generated percentage of 67.7% and 32.3% accredited number of voters respectively. The witness finally surprised OKOWA/PDP counsels when she admitted to the approved and certified guidelines “exhibit P3 and P4” from INEC headquarters stating the procedure which the electoral officers and the electorate should conform with. She admitted that the letter from INEC headquarters signed by its secretary Mrs Augusta C Ogakwu was the authorized instruction for the conduct of the governorship election in Nigeria including Delta state which all INEC staffs were to strictly and mandatorily adhere to.
The sitting will continue at 2 p.m. today.