By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
About 316 Bimodal Voters’ Accrediting System (BVAS) machines were presented and admitted as exhibits at the ongoing sitting of the governorship election petition tribunal led by the Justice Victor Oviawe-led panel on Tuesday in Kaduna.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the BVAS machines were admitted as exhibits based on the subpoena served on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to bring before the court, the said items as applied by the 1st and 2nd petitioners; Isa Ashiru and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) through their counsel, Samuel Atung (SAN).
Yusuf Zubairu who was at the court on behalf of the Commission, (INEC) made a written statement on oath before the registrar of the tribunal on the 25th day of July, 2023 to present BVAS machines of 19 Local Government Areas of the state.
In his deposition before the court, the Commission was subpoenaed on Duces Tecum ( to tender) and Duces Tecum Ad Testificadum ( to tender and testify) and demonstrate how the machines were used to collate election results in the state at the last gubernatorial poll.
Zubairu, who is a staff of INEC at the ICT/ Voters’ Research Department, testified that the results on the Irev was the true reflection of the votes cast during the 18th March, 2023 gubernatorial election in the state.
Ashiru, however, in one of his prayers before the tribunal alleged that he and his party, (PDP), won the governorship election going by the lrev results.
Zubairu, who is a witness also added that the BVAS machines cannot be tampered with, either before, during or after the election, just as he explained to the court that each machine has its unique identity number.
The witness, while demonstrating, use of one of the machines, told the tribunal that polling unit 050 of Makera Ward in Kaduna South LGA had 715 total voters registered, but only 107 voters were accredited for the election.
In his defence, earlier before the tribunal granted the application of the 1st and 2nd petitioners’ counsel for the witness to demonstrate; using the BVAS machines, Chief Duro Adeyele (SAN) who is the counsel to the Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani, objected to the admissibility of the BVAS machines through the witness.
The counsel also argued that the witness’ deposition did not state that the witness (Yusuf Zubairu) would open and demonstrate the BVAS machine before the tribunal, saying, “demonstration of BVAS’ machine is not in the witness’ statement.”
In his counter, the Ashiru and PDP’s counsel explained that the Commission was subpoenaed to (Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum) tender and demonstrate the machine before the court.