By Sylvester Udemezue

Re: “Electronic Collation Of Results Not Compulsory – Ex-INEC Spokesman” (see: BarristerNG; 12 April 2023). Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi is said to be and ex Spokesman of the INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC). With due respect, during his interview with Channels TV, on 11 April 2023, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi committed what I see as one of the most striking, evident self-contradictions, so far, of the year 2023. After declaring that “The prescribed mode is the manual collation; it didn’t say you should collate electronically. There’s is nowhere in the law, guidelines you will see electronic (collation of result),” Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi then proceeded to explain himself thus (his exact words):

“Go back to (Section) 64 (4). Verification and confirmation, that is what is required with the electronically transmitted. But collation is still manual.Before you start that process, you must go to the electronic ones and say ‘Are these figures consistent?’ It doesn’t say to start collating from the BVAS, transmitted results. It says to start collation. Before you start collation, look at it and if the figures are the same, you gather all the EC8As together. In that sense, it is a manual process.”


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Now, in response and to show that Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi’s is one hell of an obvious self-contradiction (a sort of blowing hot and cold at the same time), I shall now go on to dispassionately analyse the declaration by Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi . My aim is to show my audience that Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi while purporting to deny that electronic transmission of results from the polling units is mandatory, has actually expressly admitted (perhaps without knowing it) that electronic transmission or uploading of the results (Form EC8A) to the iReV is strictly mandatory for the purpose of verification and confirmation of the manually-collated results during collation.

We pick three expressions from Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi’s own express declaration:

1️⃣. Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi said: “Verification and confirmation, that is what is required with the electronically transmitted”. Now, what this means is that Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi agrees that the Collation Officer or Returning Officer needs “the electronically transmitted” results for “verification and confirmation” of the manually-collated version of the results. Now, COLLATION, VERIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION all precede declaration and return, which means that, during collation, the collation officer MUST use “the electronically transmitted” version of the results to “confirm and verify” the manually-collated results before declaration. And this means also that “the Collation Officer must not announce the results until he has verified and confirmed the manually-collated results using the electronically transmitted results.

If this is true, and I agree with Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi that it’s true, the questions arising are: can the Collation Officer be able to do such “verification and confirmation” in the absence of the electronically transmitted results, which Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi himself admits is MANDATORY for the purpose of the verification and confirmation of the manually-collated results? If according to section 64(4) as quoted by Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, such verification and confirmation are impossible without the “electronically transmitted” results, does this not imply or presuppose that the results MUST have been electronically transmitted at the conclusion of voting at the polling units in order for the collation officer to be able to use “the electronically transmitted” results for the purpose of the verification and confirmation, for which it is meant? Finally, since collation begins from the polling units immediately after voting, it means, based on Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi’s own admissions, that the electronically transmitted version MUST be on the IReV before Collation. Thus, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi agrees that electronic transmission of the results direct from the polling units, before collation, is mandatory, so that (as Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi himself said) the collation officer could be able (during collation) to use the electronically transmitted results to verify and confirm the manually-collated results.

2️⃣. “Before you start that [collation] process, you must go to the electronic ones and say ‘Are these figures consistent?’

These were Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi’s own words.

Issues Arising:
🅰️. Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi has thereby expressly admitted that before the Collation Officer start Collation, the Collation Officer “must go to the electronic ones [electronic results] and say ‘Are these figures consistent?’”
From Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi’s own words, it’s clear that the electronically transmitted version of the results must be present BEFORE the collation officer starts the process of collation. Else, the Collation Officer wouldn’t be able to ask the question (as expressly asked by Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi), “‘Are these figures consistent?’”
The electronically-transmitted version is thus MANDATORY before and for the purpose of the collation officer’s work, as correctly admitted (although without knowing it) by Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi. Indeed section 64 (5) goes ahead to provide that where there is a conflict between the electronically-transmitted version and the manually-collated version, the electrically transmitted version must prevail. Section 64 (4) says electronically transmitted results is the HIGHER LEVEL Section while the manually-collated results are the LOWER level. Section 64 (5) provides: “a collation officer or returning officer shall use the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units under section 47 (2) of this Act and the votes or results recorded and transmitted directly from polling units under section 60 (4) of this Act to collate and announce the result of an election if a collated result at his or a lower level of collation is not correct”

3️⃣. Finally, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi said, referring to electronically transmitted results, “Before you start collation, look at it and if the figures are the same”.

Question for Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi: dear sir, you agree he must look at “it” (ie, the electronically transmitted result sheet s) before or during collation, if the results had not been electronically transmitted from the polling units, before collation?
◼️. Please, someone should help me pass this to Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi.
Thank you. I’m grateful.
Sylvester Udemezue (Udems)

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