The first witness of the Peoples Democratic Party, Joe Agada, on Thursday, alleged that he was forced to sign the results sheets as the Collation Officer in Kogi State for the February 25 presidential election.
Agada, who is a retired captain, stated this during his cross-examination at the Presidential Election Petition Court Abuja where the outcome of the presidential election is being challenged.
The witness, while being fielding questions from counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Abdullahi Aliyu (SAN), told the court that he visited a number of polling units in different local government areas on election day.
When asked by INEC’s counsel about a purported manipulation of ballot papers he mentioned in his witness deposition and whether it was done in his presence, the witness answered in the affirmative.
He also claimed that he witnessed alleged manipulation of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System in Kogi State.
When the lawyer asked him: “ You were present while the BVAS devices were also manipulated?” the witness responded: “Yes, in not less than 20 polling units; I visited across two senatorial districts.”
The PDP witness told the court that he spent between three and five minutes in the affected areas.
Furthermore, Agada alleged that he was forced to sign the results at the state level by INEC’s officials.
He said, “I was forced to sign, which I protested because without signing I was going to be denied the copy for my party.”
He, however, admitted that he did not mention the incident in his witness deposition.
He also said when cross-examined, that he had refused to sign such documents in the past when confronted with a similar purported incident because there was no threat to deny him a copy for his party.
In his own evidence, the Ogun State Collation Officer, Solarin Adekunle, said he refused to sign the collated results in protest against electoral malpractices.
He alleged that election results were inflated which prompted him to decline to sign the result sheets.
Similarly, the third witness, Uzoma Abonta, told the court that the election was rife with irregularities and non-compliance with the rules of the election.
Meanwhile, the court also heard the case of the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who are also challenging the presidential election outcome.
The LP and Obi tendered bundles of electoral documents from six states, which were admitted in evidence by the tribunal.
Though the LP legal team, led by Chief Awa Kalu (SAN), informed the court that they would present the Certified True Copies of the documents from 18 states, they were only able to tender documents from six states before the time allotted to them by the court was over.
The result sheets tendered were from Rivers, Benue, Cross River, Niger, Osun, and Ekiti states.
Further hearing in both Obi and Atiku’s petitions were adjourned till today (Friday).