ElectionsFact Check

False! INEC Chairman didn’t admit to declaring blurred results

CLAIM: INEC Chairman admits declaring blurred results together with another 20,000 in court.

False! INEC Chairman didn't admit to declaring blurred results

Verdict: FALSE

The INEC Chairman was never present at the tribunal but sent his representative. His representative only tendered the EC9, EC8D, EC8DA, and the Certified True Copies of the presidential IReV polling units results in all 36 states and the FCT. The matter of “blurred results” only came up when the Labour Party, through a hired data analyst, submitted blurred results analysed from the presidential IReV results from 18,088 polling units, which the party wanted the court to admit as evidence, which it did.

Full Text

A Twitter user, Austin Nwabufor (@AustinNwabufor), has stated that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has admitted in court to have declared blurred results from 18,088 polling units, together with another 20,000 in favour of  APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu. 

“INEC chairman testifies in Court, admitted declaring blurred results in 18,088 with additional 20,000 results…” part of the tweet reads.

Currently, petitions from the main opposition parties, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), contesting the legitimacy of incumbent president Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February general elections, are underway, before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).

Austin Nwabufor further asserted that Mr Yakubu had declared the blurred results together with another 20,000 to favour APC’s President Tinubu because he perceived that the APC candidate would emerge the winner at the polls. 

The Twitter user also accused the INEC boss of hoarding 20,000 election result sheets and claimed the result sheets were hidden away at the behest of immediate former president Muhammadu Buhari, who had “demanded (them) for safekeeping and never returned (them).”

The tweet drew reactions from other Twitter users, earning 738 retweets, 26 quote tweets, 2,143 likes and 33 bookmarks.

Several Twitter users reacted to the tweet, with some expressing doubts about its authenticity and others sharing the same point of view with the tweet.

“(D-Law) How sure is this news?” PRESIDENT PETER OBI 💯(@johnhazard55) inquired.

“Looking false but true! I can perceive the originality of it!” Another user, Plxm Raw (@slxmraw1), commented.

Due to the sensitivity of the matter, and the split opinions it has caused on the social media platform, DUBAWA decided to investigate the claim. 

Verification

We conducted a keyword search to check if any newspaper reports confirmed the INEC boss was present at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT). 

Punch newspaper reported how on Thursday, June 15, 2023, INEC presented some electoral materials to Justice Tsammani’s five-man panel of the PEPT. The newspaper wrote that the electoral umpire tendered the materials through its Director of Certificate and complaints, Moronikeji Tairu, in response to a subpoena issued by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. 

According to Punch newspaper, the items presented before the court by INEC were the EC9 form of incumbent President Bola Tinubu, which contains his bio-data, a criterion needed for his qualification to contest on February 25, EC8D, the election results gotten from the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and EC8DA, which contains the declaration of the final result of the general elections. 

In a similar vein, Premium Times also reported that among the items brought to the court by INEC were the Certified True Copies of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine, report of the elections done in Rivers and the other 36 states, including the FCT.

It also reported that the INEC official also presented the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine report on voter accreditation that was done on the day of the presidential election –February 25, 2023– across all federation states. 

In six flash drives, soft copies of these electoral documents were presented at the PEPT, according to Premium Times.

However, the issue of “blurred results” hit the headlines when the Labour Party (LP) and its 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, tendered blurry results from the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal at the PEPT, which the court admitted as evidence according to Channels Television

Punch newspapers reported that Mr Obi and LP, represented by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Onyechi Ikpeazu, on Thursday, June 15, 2023, presented Mathematics professor, Eric Ofoedu, to testify as a witness. 

Mr Ofoedu, an academic at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra State, had been hired by the LP a few days before the election on February 25 to analyse election data, according to Punch newspaper.

The items presented by the academic included data analysis of the election, INEC Result Viewing (IReV) scores analysis, and separate data analysis of results from Rivers and Benue states. 

The court has now admitted into evidence the blurred IReV results from 18,088 polling units nationwide. 

Conclusion

The claim is false. Aside from the fact that the INEC Chairman wasn’t present at the tribunal, it was not reported that his representative admitted to declaring blurred results sheets. The commission only provided the EC9, EC8D, and EC8DA documents and Certified True Copies of the IReV polling unit results of the 36 states, including the FCT, collated during the presidential election.

The matter of “blurred results” only sprung up when the data analyst hired by LP discovered that results from 18,008 were blurred, and the court admitted it into evidence.

  

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