Results of presidential elections were electronically transmitted- INEC officials - Trends and Politics


Monday, 8 July 2019

Results of presidential elections were electronically transmitted- INEC officials

                                                       Prof Mahmood, INEC chairman
Three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Monday, maintained that results of the February 23 presidential election was electronically transmitted to a central server.
The officials in their testimony before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, explained that information that were captured with the Smart Card Reader Machines, were transmitted to the server, using a code they said was given to them by the electoral body.
Before this time, INEC had repeatedly debunked claim by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, that it was in possession of a central server that was used for the presidential poll.
The Peoples Democratic Party and Atiku had applied for an order to compel the Commission to surrender the said server for inspection, alleging that data they independently secured from the server revealed that they defeated President Buhari at the poll with over 1.6million votes.
They alleged that INEC had at various stages of the presidential election, unlawful allocated votes to President Buhari, saying they would adduce oral and documentary evidence to show that result of the election as announced by the electoral body, did not represent the lawful valid votes cast
In their joint petition marked CA/PEPC/002/2019, Atiku and the PDP alleged that in some states, INEC deducted lawful votes that accrued to them, in its bid to ensure that Buhari was returned back to office.
The petitioners brought witnesses to testify before the five-man panel tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Garba.
In his Evidence-In-Chief, Mr.Peter Uzoma Obi, who testified as the second witness said it was wrong for INEC to say the results of the presidential poll were not transmitted electronically.
Obi said he served as Registration Area Technician at a Ward Level in Rivers State during the election, adding that INEC duly trained him and others on how to transmit results of the election.

When  questioned by INEC’s lawyer, Mr. Usman Yunus, SAN, how the witness could have been able to transmit results when he did not function as a presiding officer, Mr. Obi said: “You are wrong sir. INEC trained us to transmit results. I was not a presiding officer. I was not a polling agent. I was a registration area technician appointed by INEC. I was trained by INEC.”
After he stepped down from the witness box, another INEC official, , Mr Adejuyitan Olalekan who served as a Presiding Officer, took over to corroborate his testimony.
Olalekan said the electoral body provided a code that was used to transmit the election results to the server. 
Asked by Buhari's lawyer if he personally transmitted votes to the sever, the witness said: "I did it myself as a presiding officer.  We transmitted result to INEC server through a code that was provided by INEC".
Maintaining that the server was connected to the Smart Card Reader, the witness said he could not remember details of the server. He added that though he could not recollect the code off-hand, he said he could easily retrieve it from his phone if allowed by the tribunal.
The tribunal before adjourning its proceedings till Tuesday,admitted into evidence, 31 exhibits that were tendered by the petitioners.

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