Yet another witness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has contradicted his statement on oath during his testimony before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The party’s collation agent in the last presidential election in Borno State Nicholas Msheliza, claimed that virtually all the result sheets from the various local governments in the state were mutilated.
But when asked by the lawyer of the Independent National Electoral Commission Yunus Usman (SAN), to give the correct figures, he said he was not in a position to do so.
He also could not reconcile the seeming contradiction between his claim that the results were already collated before he got to the collation centre and his deposition that he observed when the figures were tendered.
Testifying as the 23rd petitioners’ witness at the instance of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Msheliza also said the total votes of 911, 786 declared by INEC was well over the accredited voters across the state”.
Under cross-examination by the respondents to the petition, Msheliza said: “In over 200 polling units across Borno State, there was zero accreditation of voters.
“Virtually all the results sheets that were brought to the state collation centre were mutilated.
“There was virtually no result sheet that was tendered at the state collation centre that did not have calculation error, and I did reject most of them.
According to him: “The Returning Officer of the first respondent (INEC), would always ask the local government collation officers to go outside the collation centre to reconcile figures, add them up and when they tallied, they should back to present them.
“The figures were wrong.”
But the PDP collation agent was unable to prove this as he said he was in no position to do so when asked by the INEC lawyer.
He insisted that INEC collation officers who are university lecturers could not add well but pointed out that “the correct results were collated by our party agents and given to our counsel.”
Under cross-examination by the APC’s lawyer, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), the witnesses maintained that “the results were already collated” before he got to the state collation centre.
But Akintola referred him to a part of his witness statement on oath where he stated that he “observed in the course of transmitting the results from local government result sheets to the state result sheets wrong figures were being entered by INEC officials.”
When asked to reconcile the seeming contradiction between his claim that the results were already collated before he got to the collation centre, and his deposition that he observed when the figures were being tendered, the witness said, “They were merely announcing the results to the hearing of people present.”
When asked if he visited the polling units in the state as the state collation officer for the PDP, he said, “I could not have visited the polling units because of the peculiar security challenges in Borno State.”