Action Congress (AC), Rauf Aregbesola alerts tribunal to timing for proving irregularities

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chief Rauf Aregbesola

Osun State governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC), Rauf Aregbesola, has said the number of votes recorded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the April 14, 2007 election could not have been cast within the official time.

Aregbesola is contesting the declaration of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the winner of the poll.

In a statement by Mr. Gbenga Fayemiwo, the Head, Media and Publicity of Aregbesola Campaign Organisation, the AC candidate noted that considering the number of votes allegedly posted in most of the polling units coupled with other procedures, "the results posted in most of the units could not have been product of legitimate voting."

Aregbesola said the INEC manual for election regulation and guidelines stipulated that voting did not commence before 8 a.m. and did not terminate later than 3 p.m.

He gave the maximum voting period at a voting booth as seven hours or 420 minutes.

The AC candidate explained that real life constraints like the late arrival of election materials, absence of security personnel, the verification processes for pooling agents and voters, rowdiness at polling booths and other practical/logistical limitations make it impossible for people to vote continuously for 420 minutes without interruptions.

He said: "The total number of votes for polling stations was recorded on INEC’s form EC8A (or form EC8B where form EC8A was not available.) Thus, the average time spent by each voter at a polling station can easily be calculated by the application of elementary Mathematics – that is, divide 420 minutes by the total number of votes recorded on form EC8A or EC8B.

"This gives the average time taken by each voter to cast his/her vote (that is, the time that elapsed during identification, verification, ballot receipt, application of indelible ink, ballot thumb-printing and actual casting of ballot).

"A careful examination of the total votes cast in many polling units reveals an average voting time that defies practical possibility in any election.

"Few examples are highlighted to illustrate that the votes posted could not have been products of lawful votes.

"In Polling Unit OS02501-006 located at Oyekunle D.C. Primary School in Oba Ojomu Ward, Okuku, in Odo-Otin Local Government where Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the first respondent, voted (See Item 1 of Exhibit 381(c), voters register for the unit); there, 491 votes were recorded as valid on the form EC8B (Exhibit 216(1)) for the polling unit.

"With a voting period of seven hours (that is, 420 minutes), the average time for the voting process by a voter in the unit equals 420 minutes divided by 491 votes. This amounts to 0.86 minute per voter.

"In other words, the average voter in this unit spent 51.32 seconds to transact the entire voting process! This is existentially impossible," he said.


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