The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed why there was overvoting in the July 16, 2022 governorship election in Osun state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, made the revelation when he visited the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi on Tuesday.
According to him, some other factors, and not the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) resulted in the overvoting during the election, adding that the annulment of the election by the Election Petition Tribunal’s decision, demonstrated how overvoting can occur.
The REC further informed the traditional ruler that some politicians may have deliberately bypassed the BVAS during the polls, in connivance with some INEC staff.
“It was BVAS that helped INEC expose those who carried out overvoting on election day. So, it was not the BVAS that created the problem, that should be corrected.
“Based on that ruling, we have identified some inadequacies among the politicians, voters, and our staff, and our responsibility is to ensure that we cover all these gaps so that the votes of the Osun people can speak for them.
“Politicians, in connivance with our staff members, deliberately bypassed the BVAS. It was this BVAS that exposed over-voting during the Osun election.
“So with this judgment of the tribunal, we have known how over-voting can happen.
“We are going to beam our searchlight on those staff members and I can assure you that all of us should own the process together. This is the way we can correct these anomalies,” Agboke said.
While also speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting held with chairmen of political parties in Osun State at the INEC state office in Osogbo on Wednesday, Agboke said once BVAS was not used and a vote was cast, overvoting would occur.
“So I want to tell Osun people that the issue of over-voting was not orchestrated by BVAS. We did not use BVAS to vote or cast our ballot. Our ballot was manual voting; over-voting was caused by fraudulent people that came to vote on election day. They are criminally minded.
“Let us stop all these blame games on INEC, let us open our eyes very well on the election. Watch out for our staff who may want to connive with politicians. We must all own the process together,” he said.