2023: Melaye Storms Out Of INEC Collation Centre Over Cancellation Of Two Ekiti Election Results

Dino Melaye

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday evening announced that the election results of two units in Ekiti were cancelled for over-voting and bypassing the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

The report was filed by INEC State Collation Officer for Presidential Election, Prof Akeem Lasisi, shortly after the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was declared as the winner of Saturday’s presidential election in Ekiti.

Read Also: 2023 Elections: Buhari Should Call Tinubu To Order Over Perceived Desperate Moves- Momodu 

Tinubu polled, 201,494 votes to defeat his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who scored 89,554 votes.

Peter Obi of the Labour Party emerged third with 11,397 votes while Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party polled 264 votes.

According to the Collation officer, the total no of accredited voters was 315,058 on election day; valid votes were 308,171; rejected votes recorded were 6,301 while the total votes cast were 314,472.

When asked by INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, if there were places where elections didn’t hold or were cancelled for sundry malpractices, the SCOPE Ekiti fingered two units.

He said,

There were two places where we have cancellations. The total number of votes in the polling unit is 1,786. And the areas were Ado Ekiti polling unit 7, Ward 4 and Ekiti East Local Government Ward 7, polling unit 6. The reason for the cancellation was a bypass of BVAS and over-voting.

Lasisi, who is also the vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Ila Orangun, Osun State, confirmed that the report has been captured on EC40G, which he submitted to the commission chairman.

An EC40G is a summary of registered voters and situation reports of activities that take place in a unit or ward.

Shortly after the collation officer submitted his report, Yakubu asked if any of the party agents or observers were interested in contesting the result.

Raising his finger, the PDP National Collation Agent, Dino Melaye, challenged the vice chancellor to explain what he meant by BVAS bypass, which he said was vague.

He asked:

I just want to be educated. I heard the bypass of the BVAS responsible for the cancellation. I just want to understand what it means.

In response, Lasisi stated that:

As reported by the local government, there were certain numbers of voters that were recorded. But they found out that the number recorded for voting was more than what was recorded in the BVAS. That was the reason it was reported as over-voting.

When asked if he was satisfied with the collation officer’s report, Melaye nodded and joined the rest of his team.

Melaye Storms Out

In the aftermath, Melaye led a league of ten party representatives on a walkout on the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu at the collation centre, Abuja in protest as Dino, on behalf of the others claimed to have spotted some electoral irregularity, commercialisation and compromise on the part of the Yakubu-led INEC.

The fuming former Kogi Senator, Melaye, also claimed that INEC had been influenced by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Melaye, therefore, called on INEC’s chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to adjourn the declaration of results for other states and reconvene after the results have been reviewed and double-checked.

However, Yakubu insisted that the process cannot be put on hold at this stage, adding that it will be concluded before the suggested review is looked into.

Moreover, Yakubu restated that there was no over-voting in Ekiti as alleged by Melaye.

Upon saying this, Melaye and other agents of the PPD walked out of the venue, while the declaration of results continued.

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