Tuesday 7 February 2023


Few days ago, I stumbled on a supposedly analysis of the Osun election petition tribunal judgment vis-a-vis BVAS report by Channels TV in-house data analyst, Jide Ogunsanwo, a programme anchored by my friend Seun Okinbaloye.

Ordinarily, I am short of words least to say, I'm utterly disappointed that such a politically motivated analysis should come from a reputable media outfit like Channels TV. I honestly would have expected a very detailed, technically savvy, resourceful and scientifically sound analysis, devoid of bias not a mere conjecture of figures, imaginary words and unjustifiable conclusion as displayed by analyst. 

My submission on the bias conclusion is deeply rooted in my expertise and professional qualifications of over two decades of cognate experience as a data analyst, software and hardware programmer with local and international trainings .

First, I need to correct the erroneous impression passed across by the analyst that the judges don't have data analysis skills and knowledge on the subject matter. A judge was not trained to acquire data science courses or certification to give a sound and lawful judgment. Decisions from the temple of justice are arrived and concluded based on evidences presented before it and whenever data are involved, it would have been processed from raw data into simplified information that will be prepared by experts of the petitioner or respondent as the case may be and readable by all discerning minds.

The interesting scenario that played out in the outcome of the Osun petition tribunal is that the five parties involved (Petitioners - Gboyega Oyetola and APC, Respondents - INEC, Ademola Adeleke and PDP) all agreed and accepted that there was over voting, just that the degrees of acceptability varied, based on various submission made available by each party.

It is very laughable and pedestrian that the analyst used the case of bank teller deposit for his illustration, which is not logical for the BVAS report scenario, let it be stated clearly that you don't compare oranges with apples in science. it is a ground norm and standard procedure in data science and analysis. 

To fault the Channels TV in-house data analyst and his bank teller illustration,  please carefully follow this scenario; if you have an account balance of N50,000 and you deposited additional N20,000 If after three days, you haven't received an SMS credit alert or your account balance using the sort code still reflects a closing balance of N50,000, your next move is to request for a statement of account on your account. Upon receipt of your account statement, if it reflects N50,000, it shows obviously without further inquisition that the lodgment of your N20,000 cash deposit have not processed or posted. However, if your statement of account reveal a closing balance of N60,000, it shows there's a major problem, and let it be stated that there is no half transmission, it is either there is transmission or no transmission at all. Will it be financially or technically reasonable for the bank to tell you that the remaining N10,000 on your account is hanging somewhere mid-air because of network and will be added to your account balance much later?. It is a simple instructional guide of garbage in, garbage out. 

The electoral act of 2022 as amended used for Osun 2022 Gubernatorial election is very straightforward and clear that accreditation shall be done by BVAS machine ALONE. BVAS is a sharp departure from previous elections of 2019, 2015 and beyond. It is an advance improvement over the card reader used in 2015 general election with enhanced features using fingerprint or facial identification as an identifier of the prospective voter in each polling unit. Osun State election was held on July 16th, results declared and winner announced by INEC on July 17th after it was procedurally agreed that all BVAS machines used must have transmitted all the information on them to the back-end server, including the numbers of accredited voters and scanned copy of the Form EC8A. 

Let me digress a little, is it not questionable that all the BVAS machine camera-generated Form EC8A results from all the polling units were successfully transmitted to the backend server and none was delayed or needed synchronisation to deliver and this procedure was carried out after accreditation was concluded and result announced. It is safe to conclude that all BVAS machines used for Osun 2022 election was fully activated with no hitch of network failure no more, no less. This is a statement of fact.

As a major precursor to declaration of a winner as emphasised by the electoral act, figures and records of accredited voters must have been transmitted by BVAS as contained in the INEC guideline. Transmissions of data from BVAS will occur immediately except where network is not available or down. Incidentally, all the 744 polling units raised by the petitioner have 100% internet penetration and no case of network disruption or unavailability was raised by INEC before the tribunal. If network was the issue as claimed by Channels TV analyst, it is trite to ask the how come the issue of BVAS bypass occurred in polling units where the PDP won. BVAS is a game changer that is designed to catch electoral theives and rigger, and gladly enough, a thief had been caught and paraded in Osun; PDP which will serve as deterrent to others. 

Assuming without conceding that network was the issue with BVAS, no data/record transmission will take place or occur at all which means, the election detailed BVAS report requested by APC would have recorded zero (0) in those 744 polling units. Alas figures were generated, and there was no half transmission of records/data/figures. In the eyes of the law and from common sense, any other report generated after the 1st issuance were manually manufactured. 

Let me now use a more empirical analogy, when you send SMS from your phone to another subscriber, take for instance, I send the message - GOOD MORNING, HOW ARE YOU? PLEASE CALL ME , THANK YOU. Three things are likely to occur, it is either the message is sent and delivered, 

2. the message is sent and not delivered or lastly, the message is not sent at all. The other subscriber/receiver cannot receive half SMS in bit or pieces. It will be a total, full and comprehensive message as sent. Or will the telecommunication company be sending the SMS in pieces like;

1st Message Delivered - GOOD MORNING, HOW ARE YOU? 

2nd Message Delivered - PLEASE CALL ME 

3rd Message Delivered - THANK YOU.

Like the analogy illustrated above, if the transfer/sent button is not completed, notification will be provided to show that there is transmission error, this is the same technology applicable to BVAS. In BVAS, as presented and argued before the tribunal and based on the BVAS report letter issued by INEC, there was no case of half transmission. Words like interim, provisional or unsynchronised were not contained therein.

It is quite appalling that the Channels TV analyst relied solely on the data brought to the tribunal by a paid and hired, simply put 'Charge & Bail' PDP forensic examiner. Was the Channels TV analyst part of the team of so-called forensic examiners of the BVAS machines, how reliable was the data he used in arriving at his conclusion, does he know the accuracy and source of his data before proceeding to his 'kwashiorkored' and lame analysis. May I reliably inform him that the data the analyst and the PDP forensic expert used were conjured and manufactured figures to mislead and deceive the tribunal as expressed by the majority judgment of the tribunal. Let it be expressly stated that at no time was there a practical display of how the data was generated from the so-called forensic expert from the BVAS machine before the tribunal, documents were only printed and manufactured while all the over 900 BVAS machines were dumped on the tribunal. A thorough bred professional, seasoned and knowledgeable forensic examiner would have demonstrated before the judges and petitioner using few samples of the BVAS machines how he operated, discovered and generated his data but because he was paid to cover pitfalls, tracks and hide their hatchet job, he did no such thing. 

Don't let us forget too, that it was the 2nd and 3rd respondents who initially requested for a synchronised BVAS report from INEC, a month after declaration of results, after discovering that their manipulations and desires on the synchronised BVAS report didn't materialise, the PDP abandoned INEC to their fate.

It was the discovery of inconsistencies and discrepancies in the CTC of INEC BVAS report issued to APC that propelled APC and her candidate, Gboyega Oyetola to approach the tribunal to retrieve the stolen mandate, based on convictions that BVAS machines were bypassed in 744 polling units of ten local government areas. As it is, and as delivered in the majority judgment of the tribunal, the lexicon, "Synchronisation" have no legal bearing or root in Nigeria Constitution, Electoral Act 2022 as amended and the INEC guidelines used in conducting Osun Gubernatorial election, it was coined and used to mislead the court and cover the culpable atrocities committed between INEC staffs and PDP. The so-called purchased, manufactured and doctored synchronised report had several cases of over voting in over 300 polling units.

Another interesting scenario that played out was that the point and kill report presented by the paid and hired forensic expert is in conflict with the synchronised INEC report in over 500 polling units. This is another clear manifestation of hide and seek kiddies play by all the respondents. 

If Channels TV media outfit and her analyst intention was to sell dummy to her viewers, they must clearly understand at this point that the Oyetola team parades quite a handful of seasoned professionals who worked painstakingly, assiduously and tirelessly on the petition before been filed. If Channels TV is actually interested in the sanity of our electoral process, let the station immediately commence the analysis of the forged letter of attestation presented to INEC by Senator Ademola Adeleke, as even, the 3 judges on the panel unanimously and collectively agreed to the act and art of forgery by the 2nd respondent, Ademola Adeleke. We are confident that the appellate court will serve the "appropriate breakfast of disqualification" on him when approached. It is common knowledge that any other qualification Adeleke acquired have its roots from a faulty foundation of forgery. This will not stand. The foundation is destroyed and collapsed, the unrighteous should face the dire consequences. 

BVAS is indeed a game changer, and it heralds the technological innovation era for the strengthening of our democratic process. As at today, INEC is under coercion to appeal the tribunal judgment and you may wonder, should INEC tilt her support to the 8paged dissenting judgment which claimed to be favourably disposed to the use of Voters Register for accreditation at the Appeal court, which is a repealed law under the previous electoral dispensation. The new electoral act, 2022 as amended was ractified by the National Assembly and signed by President Buhari into law. Never will Nigeria go back to manual mode of accreditation which the minority judgment was clamouring for. Electoral processes across the globe is evolving rightfully, Nigeria must not be left behind and Channels TV shouldn't be a tool in the hands of Osun state PDP to hoodwink and mislead her teeming listeners with a poorly delivered analysis by Jide Ogunsanwo last Friday. It is cleverly against logic and data science in all totality. Appealing the tribunal judgment by INEC will amount to a clandestine move to waste tax payers money used in purchasing over 200,000 BVAS machines to be used for the 2023 February 25th and March 11th general elections, will INEC abandon technology for manual system of accreditation??? This will be an anomaly and irrational. 

Evidences abound that in some of the polling units where over voting took place, election didn't end until 10pm on July 16th, wherein people were circumventing the use of BVAS machines. It showed clearly that it was a preplanned and carefully designed plot to undermine the introduction of technology for elections by Osun PDP.

This gruesome imperfections of the PDP also finds its footing in an agelong Yoruba adage which says, "kini agbè nse loko d'oru, bikisepe o fè ji isu ègbè rè wa" (literally meaning - what's a farmer doing on the farmland till midnight if not to steal tubers of yam from his fellow farmer), the several tubers of yams they stole in the wee hours of July 16th have been exposed by the sound reasoning of the majority judgment of the election tribunal. 

Going by the spirit and body of the tribunal decision, election was conducted in 3,763 polling units and infractions of over voting which is non - compliance to electoral guideline were established to have been committed in 744 polling units which affected the scores of Oyetola and Adeleke, however Gboyega Oyetola was declared winner of the election based on the majority lawful votes cast in his favour which represents 81.027% of the polling units under consideration. 

INEC should engage in more resourceful training and retrainings for all categories of workers that will handle the BVAS machine in the 2023 election, INEC must also ensure they work together with National Orientation Agency and political parties on sensitization which will make it absolutely impossible for any electorate to bypass the BVAS model of accreditation.

ENGR REMI OMOWAIYE writes from Ilesa ,Osun State.


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