A New Development In The Ongoing Election Controversy As The Results On INEC Portal Suggest That Obi May Have Won The Presidential Election.

Following a recent media investigation, a new round of controversy has surfaced suggesting that Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, may have emerged as the winner of the February 25 presidential election in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State, situated in the South-South region of Nigeria. The investigation was based on the results available on the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IREV) and reported by PREMIUM TIMES. The report indicates that Obi received a greater number of votes in the area than his opponent, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, implying that Obi could potentially be the rightful winner of the election, faulting the result announced by the INEC.

It was recalled that the INEC official result announced in Obio/Akpor LG, indicated that Tinubu had 80, 239 votes, while Obi had 3,829 votes, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 368 votes and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party 161 votes. INEC, accordingly, declared Tinubu of the APC, winner of the presidential election in Rivers State, trailed by Atiku, then Obi.

The review of the presidential election results from the polling units of the 17 wards in Obio/Akpor LGA as uploaded on IReV, according to PREMIUM TIMES, showed noticeable discrepancy in the result INEC announced.

In the investigation designed to focus on the results of the votes won by the APC and LP in 1,116 of the 1,211 polling units across the 17 wards in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area uploaded on the IReV as of 16 March, representing about 94.13 percent of the results from the council area, PREMIUM TIMES disclosed the discovery that APC had 17, 158 votes, and the LP won 73,311 votes.

It, however, noted that results from some polling units were either blurred or improperly snapped and, therefore, illegible. The publication also noted that results from about 95 polling units, representing about 5.87 per cent, were yet to be uploaded within the period under review.

It also disclosed that some polling units had no results either because the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System malfunctioned or people did not come out to cast their votes, citing Ake Hostel UNIPORT Polling Unit in Choba Ward.

According to the report, “in some polling units in Obio/Akpor, PREMIUM TIMES found that some results were altered in favour of the APC, with the original scores mutilated.

“The result from Rumuorluoji Open Space II polling unit in Oro-Igwe Ward, for instance, showed that the APC originally scored 17 but the number, ‘2’ was added to the figure to read ‘217.’

“For the LP, 227 was recorded, but the number ‘2’ was erased and altered to read ‘027.’

“At the column meant for recording the scores in words, there were evidence of adjustments to suit the changed figures.

“In Rumuokoro Ward, it was noticed that in 34 polling units, results earlier written for the LP were erased and the figures swapped with that of the APC.”

The publication, thereafter, compared the figures published by INEC, which it said has “obvious evidence of adjustments and mutilations”. It maintained that “the figures were tallied as they appeared on result sheets, even when there was evidence that such figures were tampered with”.

It disclosed that “in some cases, the results for the National Assembly elections were uploaded in some polling units instead of the presidential election results.

“A result from the Civic Centre Hall Polling Unit in Rumuigbo Ward, for instance, showed that a result from the House of Representatives election was uploaded in place of that of the presidential election”.

The report indicated that PREMIUM TIMES also tallied results from Degema Local Government Area uploaded on the IReV, and the findings confirmed that Tinubu won in the council area, although, the score was slightly lower than the one announced by INEC.

“However, this newspaper could not tally the results from some polling units in the council area because they were illegible or not yet uploaded within the period under review, the report indicated.

The publication, in its findings, said that “Obi of the LP was leading Tinubu of the APC with over 23,000 votes by the time INEC announced the presidential election results in 21 of the 23 local government areas in the state.

“The LP candidate polled 169,414 votes at the time, while Tinubu scored 148,979 votes.”

The report indicated that “Obi’s largest votes at the time came from Port Harcourt City Local Government Area where he scored 62,451 votes, while Atiku scored 7,203 votes, followed by Tinubu, who scored 5,562 votes. Kwankwaso scored 301.”

It noted that “results were still being expected then from two remaining local government areas – Obio/Akpor, where the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, hails from, and Degema.

“With the results from Obio/Akpor coming in, and with INEC announcing that Tinubu scored 80, 239 votes against Obi’s 3,829 votes, the APC candidate was now in the lead and was eventually declared the winner of the presidential election in Rivers State.

“Atiku scored 368 votes in Obio/Akpor, while Kwankwaso scored 161 votes.”

The report further indicated that “in Degema Local Government Area, Tinubu scored 2,375 votes, while Obi scored 2,212 votes. Atiku scored 3,108 votes, while Kwankwaso scored 44 votes.”

It noted that “Tinubu polled 231,591 votes in Rivers State as against Obi’s 175,071 votes, according to INEC.

“Atiku scored 88,468, while Kwankwaso clinched 1,322 votes.”

The publication noted that “the collation officer for the presidential election in Rivers had adjourned the collation of results at some point over alleged threat to his life by some supporters of a political party.

“There were reports of attacks and suppression of voters in the state.”

Meanwhile, the methodology of the investigation appears imprecise, failed to utilise comprehensive data for coherent conclusion.

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