By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—As the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal continues sitting today, further information Vanguard gathered indicated that the recounting exercise of the original ballot papers used in the September 28, 2016 election was full of discrepancies when compared with the figures declared by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on its form EC8A.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity, gave graphic details of the figures obtained during the recounting exercise and the figures contained in INEC Form EC8A in the Wards and Units before the recounting was stopped following the expiration of the petitioners’ time.
He said that for instance, in Etsako West Local Government, Ward 1 Unit 1, the recounting showed 0, whereas 462 was what was declared in INEC Form EC8A and in Unit 2, the recounted result indicated 67 against 383 in Form EC8A, just as 0 was recorded during the recounting in Unit 4 against 463 in EC8A.
He said that it was the same glaring discrepancies in other units of the ward which had a total number of 1,281 as recorded in the recounted ballot papers as against 3, 329 in the Form EC8A.
The source said that similar disparities were recorded in the four wards and units where ballot papers were recounted in the local government.
He said: “For example, in Etsako West, where the ballot papers of only wards were recounted, the total recounted ballot papers were 8, 432 whereas on INEC form EC8A, the commission gave a total figure of 17, 138 revealing discrepancies between recounted and total ballot papers used as 8,706.
“It was a similar situation in Akoko-Edo, where only two wards were recounted and whereas INEC on its form EC8A used in the elections said there were 7,328. The recounted ballots were actually 7, 055.
“The conflict in the recounts and the figures declared by INEC was also obvious in Egor, where only two wards were recounted with a figure of 3,217 and INEC declared 2, 770.
“For Etsako West, the difference between the recount and the INEC total for the wards affected by the recounting was 8,706, while the difference was 273 for Akoko-Edo and 447 for Egor.”