One of the forensic experts, who testified before the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja has claimed that out of the 140,832 finger prints on ballot papers, scanned and analysed, no fewer than 100,000 were non-human prints.
The witness said this while testifying before in the tribunal, which is sitting on the petition filed by the state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the April 11 poll, Mr. Umana Umana, and the APC, challenging the declaration of Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the April election.
At the hearing of Umana’s petition yesterday, the forensic expert, Abdullahi Dauda, added that the team also discovered about 13,000 cases of multiple thumb printing. Dauda added that the forensic analysis was done using Automated Fingerprint and Identification System.
The witness, who said he had worked with the United Parcel Service for 32 years, offered to demonstrate to the tribunal how he and members of his team arrived at the results.
Counsel for the petitioner, Dayo Akinlaja, applied that the forensic expert witnesses be allowed to demonstrate the procedure of analysis before the tribunal but the defendant, who was represented by Asiwaju Awolomo, argued that the particulars of the procedure sought were not pleaded by the petitioners in the petition. The tribunal however, ruling on whether to allow the witness demonstrate the process till a later date.
Another witness, simply identified as Sanusi, said though it was part of the routine associated with its work to take pictures of the process as much as needed and to access materials freely, he was prevented from doing so in this case.
He alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission did not allow him free access to the materials. Sanusi said the “constant incursion” by the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State he state was another challenge he contended with.
The third forensic expert, Salisu Abdullahi, an information technologist, equally endorsed the joint report earlier tendered.
He stated that he had the outcome of the forensic inspection and analysis on his flash drive and was ready to show the tribunal.
Earlier, the petitioner said he was ready to close his case this week if INEC cooperated with them by presenting before the tribunal all the ballot papers used for the election, as earlier ordered by the tribunal.
INEC’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, said the materials might have been moved back to Uyo.
The tribunal however berated INEC for moving back the materials to Uyo after it had ordered that the materials should remain in Abuja till end of hearing of the petition. The panel ordered INEC to ensure that the ballot papers were brought before it for the continuation of the petition.

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