Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says a team of 63 fingerprint experts, including 50 from the UK police, worked to help the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) reclaim some states that were allegedly rigged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007.
He listed the states as Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Edo. Only Ondo that was not under the control of ACN then but Bola Tinubu, then the leader of ACN, had used his influence in assisting Olusegun Mimiko, a former governor of Ondo, to take the state from the PDP.
Mimiko belonged to the Labour party at the time. He later defected to the PDP.
Speaking at the 11th colloquium of Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the vice-president said Tinubu told him that they needed to prove that there was case of over voting.
“In 2007, when our party, then ACN, was rigged out of elections in Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and in Edo state. He invited me to his residence at bourdillion and he said the only way we can possibly reclaim the states that was taken away from us is going through the courts.
He said the only is by proving that there was multiple voting. Meaning that a few people singlehandedly thumb-printed ballot papers, dumped them into ballot boxes and they were counted in favour of the opposition, the PDP,” he said.
“He said the only we can do this – he said ‘I don’t know how you will do this’ – but some how proving that their is evidence that this is what happened.
“I said ‘Asiwaju, nobody has ever proven that in an electoral case’ and I said what is even more is that there are over a million ballot papers, how can we prove it? He said that was his view and I should look for a way of sorting this out.
“So I went to to the UK and met with possibly the most experienced [expert] in the entire UK. When I told the enormity of the problem, he laughed and almost fell off his chair. He said in all his experience as a finger print expert he has not done up to 4000 prints and you are now saying I should come and do 1.3 million finger prints. That was a Thursday and he called me back on Monday and he said let’s talk again about this. And we did, and somehow we found a way.
“We used a bit of technology. Most importantly we were able to get finger print experts. In the end, we hired 63 finger print experts, 50 of them were from the UK police. Asiwaju had to persuade the authorities to release them all together 63 police men – they were working for almost six months.
“We were able to put together a strong forensic case that showed that that the places that were defeated it was on account of multiple voting. To cut the long long story short, one by one, we were able to get the states taken from us.”
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