Viral video: PDP accuses APC of thumbprinting ballot papers at INEC

. . . PDP’s allegation attempt to mislead tribunal, public – APC

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused All Progressives Congress (APC) Kaduna state chapter of complicity in a viral video showing some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff allegedly thumbprinting some ballot papers in INEC custody.

But APC responded that the allegation and the viral video, were attempts by the PDP to mislead the Kaduna Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the people of Kaduna state.

PDP Secretary, Kaduna state chapter, Hon. Ibrahim Aliyu Wusono blasted the statement issued by the Kaduna state APC over the viral video, noting that the statement without being accused was suspicious and a preemptive attempt to deflect attention from possible culpability by the APC. “The Kaduna state PDP is amused to see a hastily written statement by the Kaduna state APC absolving itself of complicity in a video where some INEC staff were allegedly caught tampering with some ballot documents. The APC quickly came out to speak about the incident even though no one has yet accused the party.

“On Saturday, 8th July 2023, a member of the PDP, who was the collation/ returning officer of the PDP in the 2023 presidential and governorship elections along with some lawyers, were at the premises of the Kaduna state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get Certified True Copies (CTC) of some documents that the election petition Tribunal had subpoenaed INEC to produce. They were at the INEC office to inspect the document that INEC had sorted out, to write it down in the schedule of documents list that we have for the tribunal.

“That day, our delegation went to their office and saw some of their staff tampering with some documents from Kaduna South LGA. When they were questioned, they couldn’t explain but took some of the documents and ran away leaving some behind. We immediately called their superior officer with whom we were working and reported what we had seen. The person came and picked up the remaining documents after we made a video of them. But the PDP in Kaduna state was surprised to see a statement from the APC immediately after the video got out.

“The APC statement was even trying to drag the election petition tribunal into it when the video didn’t mention the tribunal or the APC. We interpreted it as attempt to deflect attention from possible culpability by the APC. This is not the first time APC has attempted to scuttle our attempt to regain our mandate since we went to court. For the APC to receive the court summons became a task because they kept avoiding it. The court had to make a ruling on substituted service. PDP won the gubernatorial election in Kaduna state and is bent on reclaiming its mandate despite all APC manipulations,” Wusono said.

Reacting, Kaduna State APC Secretary, Yahaya Baba Pate dismissed the PDP’s allegation and video, alleging it was an attempt to mislead the Tribunal and the public. “Contrary to the PDP’s false claims, the APC has always been committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and adherence to the law. We categorically deny any involvement or intention to thumbprint ballot papers ahead of their admission as evidence in court.”