The Danger of Osun Appeal Court Judgement that Favours Governor Adeleke

by Fatai Alimi
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Adeleke, Oyetola, Peter Obi

Osun state tribunal prayer by the APC against the PDP in the last governorship election was that of overvoting. APC was able to show that BVAS records provided a wide deviation from the amount of votes recorded on the Form EC8A.

The votes recorded on the EC8A forms were far higher in 746 polling units than what were captured by the BVAS, and thus pleaded overvoting, which was accepted by the tribunal.

But now the Appeal Court says the Paper recordings supercede the BVAS or any electronic data from back end server because it forms the foundation of the whole electoral process, and therefore ruled in favour of Adeleke.

In its judgement by 3 Panel Judges, the Appeal Court “faulted Oyetola and APC’s prayer for over-voting, saying they only relied on the data from the back end server and failed to look at the voters register which forms the foundation of the whole electoral process and as such, cannot strengthen their allegations of over voting.”

Could this imply that the whole introduction of BVAS and other electronic process to strengthen our democracy is now a nullity? If a candidate or a political party cannot rely on the information on the BVAS to strengthen its case to prove an incident of over-voting, how then could such be proven? This calls for a serious concern from any Nigerian that wants true change in our democratic process.

Perhaps, we will still have to rely on forensic analysis of the ballot papers and other electoral materials by certified Forensic Experts to be able to prove such. This is a hard lesson learnt from the judgement. And in that regard, any political party or candidate who now relies on electronic transmission of results and other electronic evidences such as data from the back end server has no case.

The vast majority of Osun people may be celebrating this judgement because Adeleke is more popular in the state looking at the results of the recent, subsequent elections, but the fact remains that the rejection of BVAS recordings and other electronic data from the server as major evidence to pursue electoral cases has drafted Nigeria backward of any progress we had earlier thought the new electoral act (as ammended) has afforded us.

© Alimi Ibn Fattykolly

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