The agent of the Peoples Democratic Party for the presidential election collation in Lagos State, Mr. Wahab Owokoniran, and his All Progressives Congress counterpart, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, on Monday morning hotly disagreed during the collation exercise at the Independent National Electoral Commission Lagos office.
The quarrel began immediately the Collation Officer for Lagos State, Prof. Isaac Adewole, announced the suspension of the collation of the presidential poll till 8am.
Before Adewole suspended the collation of the result at 1.48am, electoral officers of four local government areas had submitted the results of their respective council areas, while the results for the remaining 16 local government areas had yet to be returned to the INEC office.
But immediately after Adewole, who is the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, announced the suspension of the collation of the result, Owokoniran flared up and protested the decision, asking the state collation officer to explain the rationale behind the shift.
Owokoniran raised issues concerning non-arrival of the result of the election that was conducted on Saturday.
He said the result ought to have been brought to the INEC office.
According to him, result of many polling units, where PDP won, were manipulated in favour of APC.
Owokoniran also alleged that election did not take place in no fewer than 30 polling units in Epe Local Government Area of the state and yet result was declared for them.
“In some local government areas, election had been concluded two days ago. What could have delayed the collation? I suspect there are some discrepancies somewhere.
“We will not accept any result different from the one we have,” he said.
Owokoniran, however, submitted two petitions to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, questioning the electoral body’s collation process.
But Afikuyomi dismissed the claim, saying only INEC had the authority to announce the result of any election.
He asked Owokoniran to speak by facts, rather than making issues that could generate controversy.
Describing himself as one of those who framed the Electoral Act, Afikuyomi said, “Before we begin to make allegations about results being tampered with, without any substantial evidence or a single shred of fact, I think we must speak to facts and records.
“For instance, with regard to the result for Apapa Local Government Area, I have issues, but I will wait for us to get there. I think we watch the way we make claims because it can have serious implications.”