Following the INEC server result released by PDP Presidential candidate, ATIKU
Abubakar, sometimes prior that triggered outrage on the social media. Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deny that the results of the February 23 presidential election he tendered in his petition was not the authentic result and same recovered from its (INEC) server.
Atiku’s latest position was contained in his reply to INEC’s reply to his petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
INEC had declared President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 election, having polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978.
Not satisfied, Atiku had, through his team of counsel, approached the tribunal to challenge the validity of Buhari’s victory.
Atiku, in his 139-page petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, stated that from the data in INEC’s server, the true, actual and correct results showed that he (Atiku) secured a total of 18,356,732 votes to against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes.
The PDP presidential candidate stated that the results were from 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as there was “no report on server” about the election results from Rivers State.
INEC, on its part, dismissed Atiku’s figures, describing them as fake.
But, Atiku through his team of lawyers led by Dr. Livy Uzuokwu (SAN), in his reply, submitted that the server from which the figures he tendered were derived belong to INEC.
According to him, “In response to INEC’s reply to the petition, the petitioners plead that the scores published by the petitioner in paragraph 10 of their petition are the same scores officially published by INEC and the same result was also published by the INEC in its official website.
“The figures and votes were transmitted to the INEC Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose physical address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-00000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the INEC’s server.”
He added that there is no conjecture in the votes and scores in the table pleaded by the petitioners and that the figures are factual.
“The spokesperson for Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organization openly admitted that the data in question was in the INEC’s server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the IGP and the DSS asking the security agencies to investigate the PDP for allegedly hacking into the server of the INEC and obtaining the data in question.
“Specifically, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), the spokesperson of Buhari claimed in the said petition that it was Atiku who smuggled the data into the server. The petitioners hereby plead the said petition to the security agencies and the second respondent is hereby given NOTICE to PRODUCE them at the hearing. The petitioners also plead newspaper reports, television broadcast and news reports in the social media on the public admissions made by the 2nd respondent’s authorised spokesperson on the issue.”
He further revealed that he would, at the trial of the petition, rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle among others.
The petitioner however denied that the website www.factsdontlieng.com was invented by them for the purpose of this case or at all and put the 1st respondent to the strictest proof of the allegation.
He further added that the contents and the results in the said website were generated from the INEC’s server.
“In addition thereto, the petitioners contend that INEC, through its officials, agents and Chairman, having represented to the general public, the electorate, and the petitioners, who acted on same, that results of the 2019 elections would be transmitted by electronic means, is now estopped from asserting anything to the contrary. In any event, the Electoral Act did not outlaw the transmission of election results by electronic means.
“The petitioner, in further response to paragraph 5 of the 1st respondent’s reply, state that the 1st respondent, through its Returning Office for Presidential Election, the Chairman of the 1st respondent, committed grave errors in the final collation exercise. For instance, in Form EC8E, by false crediting Okotie Christopher with wrong political party and wrong scores. In the same vein, he falsely credited Rev. Dr. Onwubuya with a wrong political party and wrong scores.
“The petitioners state that the final result as declared by the 1st respondent are those that were transmitted online to the website of the 1st respondent (www.inecnigeria.org). The petitioners visited the said website on several dates, one of the dates being Friday, the 12th day of April at 4:58p.m. The petitioners hereby plead and shall rely on the said final results as published by the 1st respondent on the said website.
“The petitioners state that the information, data, documents, footages, images and photographs relied on by the petitioners are products of officials of the 1st respondent are not false, skewed, suborned or spurious as alleged by the 1st respondent.
“Contrary to the evasive denial of the 1st respondent in paragraph 11 of its reply to the petition, the petitioners aver that the Table containing votes of candidates in paragraph 21 of the petition are not conjecture, but the result of the acts of the officials of the 1st respondent who complied with the directives and training instructions, of the 1st respondent on electronic transmission of votes as evidence in: i. The 1st respondent Training Manual on Elections Technologies (Use, Support and Maintenance) 2019; ii. Print out of votes of candidates from the Smart Card Reader Machine; iii. Printout of votes of candidates from the 1st respondent’s server.”
Responding to INEC’s objection that his counsel is not enrolled on the Supreme Court list, Atiku submitted that his petition, as filed, is competent and duly signed by a legal practitioner who is enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1982.
“He is licensed to practice in Nigeria and is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He has severally represented the INEC in previous election petitions since 1999. He was also the Honorable Attorney General of Imo State (1994-1996).”
New Telegraph recalls that the INEC, in Preliminary Objection to Atiku and PDP petition filed by its lead counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN), contends that the petition is incompetent and/or lacking in merit, frivolous and respectfully pray this honourable tribunal to dismiss the petition.
The INEC had specifically denied the existence of electronic transmission of results as it is unknown to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of the elections 2019 and put the petitioners to strictest of proof thereof.
Witness statement on oath of one Chidi Nwafor, an employee of the 1st respondent, and currently the Director, Information and Communications Technology averred that: “…That with particular response to the issue of server and electronic transmission and collation repeatedly referred to by the petitioners, I hereby say as follows:
“That as at date, there is no legal framework in place for electronic voting, transmission and collation of scores or results of the electioneering process.
“That the Smart Card Reader, till date, was used for authenticating registered voters, not for sorting, counting, transmission or collation as these processes are still manually done, given the state of the law.
“That the 1st respondent has no server that contains the purported results the petitioners are claiming they got from a purported server.
“That in spite of the scheme at the time, counting, sorting, transmission and collation of votes during the 2019 general elections, and the presidential election in particular, were all done manually and not electronically.
“That the purported figure of 37,668,305 being bandied by the petitioners as the actual number of accredited voters is unknown to the 1st respondent and never existed in its record.”