The ABC of Osun Tribunal Ruling By Misbau Alamu Lateef Esq.
1) The BVAS is truly a game changer and should ordinarily be above manipulation.
2) The BVAS ascertains or validates voters’ identity, and it is mandatory prior to voting. Every voter must be ‘BVASed’ before they are issued with a ballot to vote. In short, BVAS accredits voters.
3) After elections, the results are then collated and entered manually on INEC form EC8As. However, the number of voters on INEC Form EC8A must never exceed the number of accredited voters on BVAS. That’s over-voting and automatic cancellation under the Electoral Act 2022.
4) When a winner was declared by INEC in the Osun gubernatorial election, it was assumed by all that the BVAS and Form EC8As tallied. It was thought that Adeleke won and Oyetola lost.
5) APC applied for the BVAS report and Form EC8AS to file their petition days after the winner was declared.
6) APC in preparing their Petition found discrepancies between BVAS report and FORM EC8As in over 700 polling units. The votes recorded on Form EC8As literally exceeded what the BVAS accredited. There was over-voting by people who must have literally bypassed the BVAS either for not having PVCs or other dubious reasons.
7) Once INEC, PDP, and the Governor were served with the APC Petition, they all filed their responses and INEC added/pleaded another entirely different BVAS report, which INEC now DUBIOUSLY called a “SYNCHRONISED BVAS Report.”
7) So, there were two BVAS reports before the Tribunal. The one issued to APC before they filled their petition and the one issued by INEC during the pendency of the petition.
8) At the Tribunal, each party strove hard to prove which BVAS was credible and which was not. The Tribunal then had to decide that….
Now, you please be the judge. Which of the two conflicting BVAS does your conscience, if functional, say is credible? The first one that was used to declare a winner on the elections day or the other “SYNCHRONISED BVAS” issued to self and pleaded by INEC almost 30 days after a winner was already declared and during the pendency of the Petition of the APC?
What does your functional conscience say?
I think INEC should be grateful to APC/Oyetola/Osun for helping them expose the manipulation that dubious officials at state level and politicians can subject the BVAS to.
Plus, voters must now know that bypassing the BVAS is not helpful. Everyone must be accredited by the BVAS to be eligible to vote.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Misbau, a Professor of Law, writes from Abuja.