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Cecilia Onah, Lafia

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has reaffirmed that the March 18, 2023 governorship election conducted in Nasarawa State was in substantial compliance to its guidelines.

INEC Deputy Director of Software and Training, Ama Abom Agwu reaffirmed this when he appeared to testify before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal Sitting in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on Saturday.

Answering questions during cross examination by counsel to Governor Abdullahi Sule, Adebayo Adeledu, SAN and Ishaka Muddie Dikko SAN for INEC, Ama Abom Agwu told the Tribunal that the election was conducted in substantial compliance to the guidelines of INEC 2023 Election.

The INEC Deputy Director of Software and Training, said he was at the national control room in Abuja on the day of election, explaining that he did not upload Form EC8A for Governorship Election to the IRev but produced Password for the IRev.

READ: Governorship tribunal commences pre-hearing sitting in Nasarawa

Ama Abom told the Tribunal that 3, 242 polling unit results for Governorship Election in Nasarawa State were uploaded to the IRev representing 99.7 percent, adding that there were few instances where House of Assembly election results were uploaded instead of governorship results on the IRev.

Abom added that transmission of results from BVAS to the backup of IRev requires internet service but the BVAS machine had been designed to work either off line or online.

Ama further informed the Tribunal that he was in charge of all technical training nationwide and development of technical training manuals for INEC, adding that he supervised the IRev.

He produced BVAS and IRev reports with certification pages before the Tribunal as ordered by the election trial court.

The Prosecution Counsel, SAN Jibrin Samuel Okutepa applied to tender the seven set of documents before the Tribunal.

However, Governor Abdullahi Sule’s Counsel, Adebayo Adeledu SAN, Ishaka Muddie Dikko SAN for INEC and APC Lead Counsel, Rotimi Oguneso SAN who did not object to the notice of subpoena, letter of authority and ID card of the witness, objected to the tendering and admissibility of other documents.

They added that they would advance their reasons for the objection in their final written addresses.

The Prosecution Counsel, Jibrin Okutepa prayed for adjournment pending when INEC produces the BVAS machines and other documents which the electoral umpire assured to produce on or before Wednesday 19th July, 2023.

Ruling on the application, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi granted the prayer and adjourned hearing till July 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, 2023 for further hearing.

The Dune reports that the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe led other top Government functionaries to the Tribunal to witness the proceeding.