The National and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City Friday listened to audio tape of an alleged confession of an adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of how the 2019 general elections were rigged in the state.
From the tape tendered as evidence by Hon Ehiozuwa Agbonyinma, the INEC adhoc staff served in Ward Six Ikpoba-Okha local government area.
Hon Agbonyinma is challenging the election of Hon Jude Ise-Idehen for Ikpoba-Okha/Egor Federal Constituency.
The INEC adhoc staff identified as Suleiman Ikhuoria was heard in a telephone conversation telling a supposed ‘Ward Six’ Chairman of the PDP that he has delivered on his part.
He said it was his effort that made the PDP win the election adding that the PDP lost in Ward 5.
The audio tape was played when Hon Agbonyinma was testifying in continuation on trial of his petition.
During cross-examination, Agbonyinma said he informed the Directorate of State Security after he received the call and they set up a sting operation.
Agbonyinma said the DSS gave him marked N100,000 to give to Suleiman.
He said 10 INEC staff were involved in awarding of votes adding that some were arrested and charged to court.
His words, “The phone call was a miracle of my time. I do not know how he got my number.
“After the recording, I reported to the DSS. They gave me marked money to give to him. Suleiman said I should tell my leader to come and settle because he has delivered the PDP.
“Results were awarded to the PDP by INEC and the PDP. That was why over 38,000 votes were voided in Edo”.
Other witnesses that testified said results were not announced at the polling units but taken to the Ward collation centre.
Aigbogun Emmanuel said he signed altered results for him to have evidence to show his party.
He said collation of results started at Adolor College and ended at Eghosa Grammar School.
Promise Igbinevbo said there was no collation of results and the votes were not counted in Unit 5 Ward 8.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice O. Ogundana adjourned sitting to August 19 for the respondents to open their defence.