Sen. Dino Melaye, who was the National Collation Agent for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential election, Friday told the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) why he walked out of the national collation centre in Abuja and refused to endorse the final result.
Dino, who was speaking under testimony before the tribunal, said he refused to endorse the final result as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because it was fraudulent.
He told the tribunal that what was announced at the national collation centre by INEC was at variance with what was counted at the polling units.
Melaye, who is one of PDP’s star witnesses, was in the witness box for over one hour.
Responding to a suggestion by INEC lead counsel, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, that he is a popular politician who entertains people, Dino said that he is only a politician and not an entertainer.
He told the court that he was both in Kogi state and Abuja on Election Day.
Asked how he knew about discrepancies in polling unit results in different parts of the country when, according to him, he had left Kogi after voting at the national collation centre in Abuja, Dino said that he was there “technologically”, which made the court to erupt in laughter.
Under further cross-examination, Dino said he was able to know what was happening across the polling units because agents of PDP were sending live video reports and information to him in real-time.
On whether transmission of results is part of the election collation process, Dino explained that the procedure for election collation includes the transmission of results at the polling unit level first before the results are moved to the ward collation level.
Responding to a specific question on whether the INEC results viewing portal I-Rev is a collation centre, he insisted that it is a fundamental part of the election process, and that was why as a federal lawmaker at the time, it was part of the innovations introduced into the Electoral Act 2022, making it the most significant difference from the 2010 version.
When asked whether he is in possession of the correct results since he claims that the one announced by INEC was fraudulent, he said he does not have it but that the statistician who testified earlier for his party had done the breakdown which was submitted to the court
Frustrated, the defence counsels sought to force Dino to give only a yes or no answer to their questions. Dino, however, insisted on providing explanatory answers.