Contrary to allegations of over-voting in Owo and Ugbawka in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu state in favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded 2023 governorship election, candidate of the party, Dr. Peter Ndubuisis Mbah, has revealed that arithmetical error by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deprived him of 1,072 votes that should have taken his total votes to 161, 029..
He also said the figures contained in the table in the petition lodged against him by Labour Party (LP) candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, to portray alleged over-voting in Owo and Ugbawka, were mere concoctions by the LP candidate to mislead the court.
This was even as the governor-elect accused Edeoga and the LP of over-voting in many polling units. He said figures of accredited voters recorded in those Polling Units, where Edeoga also won, were higher than the number of BVAS-accredited voters.
These were contained in his response to the petition filed against him by Edeoga, at the Enugu State Governorship and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.
Mbah said the arithmetical error in summing up of his scores from the Form EC8Bs to EC8Cs used for Nkanu East LGA, deprived him of about 1,072 votes. He pointed out that his votes would have increased to 161, 029 if the 1,072 votes, which he clearly presented in Table 1 of his reply is recorded for him by the Tribunal. He said this would in turn widen his lead against his closest rival, being the LP candidate.
On alleged over-voting in Owo and Ugbawka, Mbah said by the regulations and practice of INEC, two BVAS machines were provided and used by INEC for the purposes of accreditation and uploading of results wherever a voting center has more than 700 to 750 registered voters.
Consequently, he said the figures being peddled by Edeoga as supposed evidences of over-voting in some polling units in Owo and Ugbawka were actually polling units with more than 750 registered voters. He said Edeoga’s failure to take into cognisance the second BVAS machine used for the respective polling units in line with INEC Regulations and practice, was intentional in order to mislead the tribunal and members of the public.
Mbah equally pointed out over-voting in many polling units won by Edeoga saying votes cast exceeded BVAS accreditation and number of PVCs collected.
At Central School, Nsude, for instance, out of the 1,267 registered voters, 1,194 collected their PVCs. But whereas 158 were accredited by the BVAS, 178 were accredited on the result sheets, with Edeoga polling 82 votes to win the Polling Unit with a margin of 27 votes against Mbah of the PDP, who polled 55 votes.
Others include Agbani Road Primary School II, Ngwo Park I Uwani III, Agbani Road Primary School IV, Community School Adogba, Obiofu Community School, Community School Nochele, and Central School Oji/Okwe Primary School.
Mbah, therefore, urged the tribunal to throw out Edeoga’s petition, as it was incompetent and predicated on concocted claims and figures, not facts and realities.