Even as Governor Olusegun Agagu’s legal team prepares to unravel the packs of lies of the Labour Party and its governorship candidate before the honourable justices of the appellate court, it is imperative to explain some points that would unmask the real devious intentions of these selfish people whose only concern is how to appropriate for themselves the resources meant for the entire people of the state.
This, they intend to achieve by ambushing the wish of the people and supplant it with a cabal whose strings would be pulled from Lagos and Abuja. One of the many lies concocted by the Labour Party elements to confuse and deceive the people was the much-talked about prevalence of multiple thumb-printing of ballot papers in some local government areas during the April 14, 2007 governorship election in the state. To prove its case, LP invited a British forensic expert, Adrian Forty. Even before the arrival of Mr. Forty, the LP propaganda machine had gone to town, flaunting what it termed the mother of all revelations from the Briton.
Their expectations soon fell flat on their face by the time Mr. Forty took the witness box as his highly flaunted revelations amounted to nothing. It would be recalled that the floodgate of negative propaganda and outright falsehood were opened by the LP leadership before and after the election, which was followed by unprecedented violence that was unleashed on the peace-loving people of the state by these desperate politicians whose only wish is to loot the treasury.
However, for the benefit of the people of the state, and to prove that the multiple thumb-printing claim by the LP, as in most of its allegations, are mere mischief designed to ambush the wish of the people, it would be necessary to explain in detail the Forty testimony at the tribunal. The expert admitted in his report that the scanning of the ballot papers was singularly carried out by the representatives of the LP. This clearly breached the Helsinki 1978 Declaration that stipulates that where information involving two or more parties is concerned, the syntactic and semantic rules communicating the information have to be jointly determined by the parties. Otherwise the integrity of the exercise and attendant result is questionable.
Equally of note was the absence of neutral bodies like the Police and other security agencies at the data gathering, scanning, cropping and analysis of the ballot papers as the LP ought to have done in line with standard practice all over the world. If the LP and Mimiko were not out to deceive the people, why did they fail to do all these seemingly simple, just and moral standards? It is also laughable that, at no time did the expert sight or inspect the ballot papers which constitute the primary materials for scanning and forensic analysis.
A sincere and unbiased professional forensic scientist would have made proper observation of the physical state of the ballot papers and the environment under which they were stored in order to ascertain if he could make any reliable inferences from the materials that would constitute the source of the input. The physical observation of the ballot papers would have determined the suitability of the materials for scanning and forensic analysis.
The Briton also admitted that cropped images of the alleged thumbprints were batched to him at different times. This means that they were sent to him in bits or piece-meal. It was also noted that the batching was electronically driven, which meant that the original image were still in the custody of the sender. A discerning mind would ask: Are these mischievous people not able to electronically repeat the same batch at different occasions?
Curiously enough, the forms on which this “expert” was to report the results of his forensic analysis were generated and designed by LP in Nigeria and sent to him in London. The simple implication of this is that the report sheets were designed to suit the interest and purpose of the LP, Mimiko and their kingpins in Abuja and Lagos. At this juncture, one should ask Mr. Forty if he is indeed an expert as he claimed, why did he not have his standard form for reporting the findings of his examination and analysis?
Forty also admitted before the open court that there were large numbers of poorly scanned images. This admission by the expert, surely cast a doubt on the competence of the expert and the reliability of the results of the scanning process. He equally failed to show the percentage of images cropped when ballot papers were mistakenly scanned. During cross examination, the expert admitted that: “Very large numbers of cropped areas that did not disclose impressions. The quality of the impressions varied from very good to extremely poor with the details smudged or faint and indistinct”. This is a monumental flaw in the procedure adopted by him. It is an established norm in data processing that incomplete data should be filtered from complete data for separate processing with different methods.
In his breakdown of scanned ballot papers, Adrian Forty revealed that:
* Scanned ballot papers with no images including poorly scanned ballot papers were -37,053; scanned ballot papers with either insufficient details or others that disclose details that could not be matched as legitimate votes-61,352 Total-98,405. This figure represents 53.71 percent of the 183,219 total numbers of ballot papers scanned. This high rate of error would have rendered the whole exercise a failure with a nobler scientist.
In his submission, Forty asserted that the ballot papers were examined by him in their original booklet order. Certain questions beg for answers here: Can ballot papers be in their original booklet order after voting?
* Votes cast at an election can never be in their original booklet order since sorting into parties and counting would have altered the booklets arrangement. Where did Mr. Forty get his original booklet order from?
*It is a known fact that the election organising body, in this case INEC, is the custodian of election materials. Where did Forty and his masters get the original booklet order from?
*Ordinarily, ballot papers, in the process of voting, transportation, collation and storage would have been mixed up one way or the other. How was it possible for the expert to work on the original booklet order in their serial numbers? This is not possible, except if the order and original forms of the ballot papers had been electronically altered before it was transmitted to the expert.
Answers to these questions would throw more light on the mode of operations of this cabal, whose only reason for wanting a change in the leadership of the state is because Governor Olusegun Agagu, against their expectations, has refused to make affairs of governance in the state an all-comers affair by opening up the treasury for them to loot like they did under previous governments. As the legal battle shifts to the appellate court, one sure thing like the northern pole is that, other lies of the Labour Party and its elements would be exposed before the whole world, and the real reasons these selfish people want power for themselves would be revealed.