The Plateau Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Plateau State heard a case challenging the election of Governor Caleb Mutfwang, who was declared the winner of the March 18, 2023, governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The case was filed by Dr. Nentawe Yilwada Goshwe and his All Progressives Congress (APC) party against INEC, Caleb Mannanseh Mutfwang, and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
During the proceedings, the petitioners called an expert witness, Dr. Nentawe Yusuf Gurumdimma, a computer science lecturer at the University of Jos, to prove allegations of over voting in the contested areas. Dr. Gurumdimma presented his witness statement, which contained 46 pages of data analysis regarding the election. He analyzed forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, and EC8E, which were the result sheets of the election.
The witness claimed to have discovered instances of over voting through the data he collected from these forms. He referred to the BVAS report and pointed out differences in dates but confirmed that the documents held the same value as stated in his statement. The witness also identified other exhibits referenced in the petition.
During cross-examination, the witness stated that he had not read the petition but was only contacted to analyze the results. He defended the reliability of his analysis, rejecting claims of corruption, fraud, and miscalculations due to the use of Microsoft Excel. The witness explained that computer science deals with software applications such as Microsoft Excel, and data analysis involves collecting and organizing data.
The witness concluded that there was over voting based on his analysis using the voters register and the number of accredited voters. He claimed that the first petitioner, Dr. Goshwe, clearly won the election based on his findings. When questioned about including votes from other parties in his analysis, the witness explained that he had considered all parties involved.
After the cross-examination, the petitioners decided to close their case, stating that they were satisfied with the evidence presented by the 49 witnesses. They expressed gratitude to the tribunal for the smooth proceedings. The tribunal adjourned the matter to allow the first respondent, INEC, to open their defense on July 17, 2023.