By Angela Atabo
Yiaga Africa says its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology deployed to monitor governorship election in three states has confirmed the accuracy of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)’s official results.
This is contained in Yiaga Africa’s Post-Election statement jointly signed by its Executive Director, Samson Itodo and a board member Ezenwa Nwagwu on Tuesday in Abuja.
Itodo said that a total of 900 stationary observers were deployed to a representative randomly selected sample of 300 polling units for each of the states and an additional 97 roving observers were deployed in Benue, Delta and Kano.
He said that Yiaga Africa also deployed 550 observers in the other 25 states to observe the conduct of the election and results’ collation.
He said that Yiaga noted that the PVT turnout projections for the three states were consistent with INEC’s declaration.
Itodo however, said that Yiaga Africa’s projections did not include cancelled results in polling units, as these were not consistently announced by INEC during collation.
He said that the PVT statistical analysis was based on the number of registered voters and not the number of PVCs collected.
“Yiaga Africa PVT findings on the results declared by INEC in Benue, based on the PVT findings, the results announced by INEC for 22 LGAs are consistent with the PVT estimates for the governorship election in the state.
“Although the election for Kwande LGA was rescheduled, INEC proceeded to make a return on the basis that the results from Kwande LGA will not substantially affect the margin of lead between the two leading candidates.
“Based on reports from 276 of 300 which is 92 per cent of sampled polling units, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 57.9 per cent and 64.7 per cent of the vote.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 26.6 per cent and 32.6 per cent, while no other political party should receive more than 5.6 per cent of the vote,’’ Itodo said.
He said that in Delta, based on reports from 281 of 300 which was 94 per cent of sampled polling units, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis showed that APC should receive between 33.9 per cent and 40.9 per cent of the votes.
He said that the PDP should receive between 46.2 per cent and 54.2 per cent of the votes, while no other political party should receive more than 10.2 per cent of the vote.
“In Kano, based on reports from 287 of 300 (96per cent) of sampled polling units, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis shows APC should receive between 42.4 per cent and 45.6 per cent of the votes.
“The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) between 50.7 per cent and 54.1 per cent of the votes, while no other political party should receive more than 0.11 per cent of the votes.’’
Itodo said that in Benue,Yiaga Africa was able to estimate that turnout was between 26 per cent and 32 per cent, while INEC’s official result was 27 per cent.
He said that in Delta, Yiaga Africa was able to estimate that turnout was between 20 per cent and 23 per cent, while INEC’s official turnout was 21 per cent.
He said that in Kano, Yiaga Africa was able to estimate that turnout was between 34 per cent and 37 per cent while INEC’s official turnout was 34 per cent.
He said that the general observations on the results management process showed that INEC Results Viewing (IReV) portal functioned optimally, enabling citizens to download polling unit-level results.
He said that the results upload enhanced the transparency of the process.
He however, said that the manual collation process had reinforced the ward level and local government area result collation as the weakest link in Nigeria’s election results management process.
“As observed by Yiaga Africa observers, security agencies, party supporters, and political thugs denied accredited observers access to the results collation centers.
“Thugs also attacked collation centers and unruly party agents interfered with the collation process in states like Rivers, Abia, Delta, Ebonyi, Gombe and Enugu.
“Polling unit-level results were altered during collation without any explanation from collation officers and returning officers.
“In some cases, the Returning officers demonstrated a poor understanding of the guidelines and misapplied the rules, ‘’ he said.
Itodo recommended that INEC should in line with Section 64 of the 2022 Electoral Act, review cases where legitimate concerns had been raised on the conduct and declarations made by collation and returning officers.
This, he said was especially in cases where declarations were made in violation of the electoral legal framework.
He called for immediate investigation and prosecution of collation and returning officers found guilty of flagrant violations of the guidelines on results collation and results manipulation.
Itodo said a comprehensive and independent audit of the 2023 general election was imperative for inspiring public confidence and ensuring accountability for operational lapses, disregard for the constitutional and electoral legal framework and cases of subversion of the people’s vote.
He said that security agencies should thoroughly investigate cases of abductions and killings recorded during the election to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.
He said that members of election tribunals and appellate courts should demonstrate courage as a fundamental pillar of democracy to insulate the courts from the influence of politicians.
He also urged them to uphold the rule of law to the highest standards in determining election petitions.(NAN)