Citing alleged discrepancies in the results in their possession as against the ones being presented at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Situation Room and National Collation Centre in Abuja, a group of opposition parties led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decided not to play a part in process of presenting the rest of the presidential election results.
Matters came to a head on Monday 27 February, 2023 at the resumption of collation when Senator Dino Melaye and Hon Emeka Ihedioha, both representing the PDP as the party’s agents at the National Collation Centre, claimed that the first returned result of the poll – Ekiti, which was presented on Sunday, 26 February, 2023 – did not correspond with what the PDP had in their records. The duo asked the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to suspend further presentation of the presidential poll results until the matter is settled.
Other opposition parties who joined the PDP in raising this observation were Labour Party Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Africa Democratic Party (ADP)
However, the Party Agent for the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the collation centre, Mr. Babtunde Ogala (SAN) opposed the submission of the opposition parties, saying the matter they raised was envisaged by the Electoral Act, which puts it under the purview of Election Petition Tribunal.
Sen Melaye would have none of it and threw up a ruckus at the International Conference Centre venue of the collation, prompting Prof Yakubu to state that the senator was “being disruptive” as Melaye refused to accept the explanation Prof. Yakubu offered to clear the opposition parties’ claims.
After a while during which some observers at the event backed Prof. Yakubu’s position, the INEC chairman intervened and declined to halt results presentation.
In reaction Melaye and Ihedioha as well as the agents of the parties involved staged a walkout.