By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—RESULTS of the recounted ballot papers used for the conduct of the September 28, 2016 Edo State governorship election in some wards and units in three out of the four local government areas of Edo State have shown discrepancies in the total number of figures as announced by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the figures recorded during the recounting exercise.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, it will be recalled, are challenging the declaration by INEC of Godwin Obaseki of All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the election and had in their petition listed INEC, Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents respectively.
In its ruling on February 9, 2017 and subsequent orders, the three-man tribunal headed by Justice Ahmed Badamasi, granted the prayers of the petitioners, namely the PDP and its candidate, Ize-Iyamu, ordering a recount of ballot papers used for the conduct of the election in Egor, Akoko-Edo, Etsako West and Etsako East councils of the state.
In the report that was signed by the Assistant Secretary to the tribunal, Buhari Sani, for the Secretary and given to parties in the case, the recounting exercise was concluded in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Etsako council, Wards 1 and 2 in Akoko-Edo council and Ward 1 of Egor council.
In the recounted wards and units in the three out of the four councils, namely Etsako West, Akoko-Edo and Egor, the recounted exercise indicated that more ballot papers were used during the election contrary to the results declared by INEC in Form EC8A.
The tribunal resumes sitting tomorrow with INEC opening its defence of how it conducted the election.