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Statistics expert disputes INEC’s gubernatorial election results in Abia

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The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has concluded its arguments in the petition contesting the certification of Mr. Alex Otti as the victor of the gubernatorial election held on March 18, 2023.

Mr. Samuel Oduntan, who introduced himself as a statistician and digital examiner, testified as a subpoenaed witness for the PDP at the hearing that resumed on Friday, August 18, 2023.

In court, he relied on the written report of his investigation.

Oduntan noted that he had to rely on forms EC8E and EC8A to analyze the votes cast for the PDP and the Labour Party since INEC allegedly refused to provide him access to the necessary BVAS data utilized during the election.

He said under cross-examination that there are 4,062 polling places and 184 Registration Areas (Wards) across Abia State’s 17 LGAs.

His calculations suggest that PDP received 169,707 of the valid votes cast in Obingwa LGA, whereas Labour Party received 169,519, as he claims.

His protest was directed at INEC’s initial announcement of election results, which gave the PDP 88,529 votes and the Labour Party 175,467.

A.J. Owonikoko, however, labeled the PDP witness as “a stranger brought by the PDP.” Owonikoko is the Lead Counsel for Governor Alex Otti.

In addition, Oduntan, a witness for the PDP, was cross-examined by Umeh Kalu, SAN, lead counsel for the Labour Party.

While being questioned by the Tribunal, Oduntan said that he had been ordered to be given access to the BVAS machines and Voter’s Cards used in the polls but was instead refused such access.

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The trial has been postponed until August 23, 24, and 25 so that the respondents can present their defense.

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