We transmitted results to INEC Server....Presiding Officers tell Presidential Election Tribunal — Nigerian Pilot News
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We transmitted results to INEC Server….Presiding Officers tell Presidential Election Tribunal

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* Say INEC instructed, trained them on how to transmit results to its server

*Presidential election results not transmitted electronically – INEC insists

*As DSS denies arrest of INEC’s ICT staff over disclosure of sever ID number.

No fewer than 13 Presiding Officers (POs) in Borno and Yobe states have told the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja that they transmitted the results of the February 23 Presidential election in their various units and wards to the official server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The POs in their respective Witness Statement of Oath in support of the petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated that the electoral body had, during their training, instructed them on how to transmit the results to its server.

The submission of the POs was to lay credence to the petition of Atiku and PDP, wherein they alleged that the INEC pulled down the official results from its server and consequently replaced it with a doctored one to favour President Muhammadu Buhari.

The position of the POs, however, contradicted the submission of INEC who had stated in its reply to the petition that results were not sent to its server.

All these were, however, contained in Atiku’s reply to the objection filed by APC, who is the 3rd respondent, to his (Atiku’s) petition before the Presidential Tribunal, wherein he is challenging the election that produced Buhari.

INEC had declared President 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. But, Atiku in his 139- page petition before the 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 against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes.

On its part, INEC stated that there was no result in its server and that the presidential election results were not transmitted electronically.

However, in reaction to paragraph 29 of the 3rd Respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the data and scores in the 1st Respondent’s Server were as transmitted by the 1st Respondent’s officials and those scores are valid, and legitimate.

Atiku, through his team of counsel, led by Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), had listed about 13 Presiding Officers from different wards in Borno State and also attached their witness statement on oath.

According to one of the POs, “I was employed as an ad hoc staff and trained for three days by the 1st Respondent at the Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State to serve as a Presiding Officer (PO) at Waliri Polling Unit with Code 003, of Shehun Barna Ward, Borno State on the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections.”

The training covered the duties of all 1st Respondent’s ad-hoc staff at the polling units and the procedure for the conduct of election which includes accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of results as well as the use of Smart Card Reader (SCR), amongst others.

“At the 1st Respondent training, we were specifically instructed that the use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of results is mandatory and that any election conducted without the use of the Smart Card Reader would be invalid.

“I took part in the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections of 23rd February, 2019 where I served as the Presiding Officer (PO) and I ensured the use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of votes in my polling unit.

“At the end of voting, the information on the Smart Card Reader with the results inclusive, were collated by me in the presence of the party agents and other ad-hoc staff of the 1st Respondent after which my Assistant Presiding Officer (AP0-1) transmitted the result electronically in my presence to the 1st Respondent’s server, using the Smart Card Reader (SCR) and the code provided by the 1st Respondent.”

Furthermore, in the witness statements of the Presiding Officer of Daza Primary School Code 001,Daze Marte Ward of Borno State, who was coded as BU; the Presiding Officer of Mustapha Ali Bama, Code 036, Mafoni MCC Ward, who was coded IM; the Presiding Officer of Binkalion Code 003, Maisandari Damaturu ward Yobe, coded as AB and APO of Kafan Sarki Code 007, Yabir-Gujba of Yobe state, coded as AW; they all admitted that the results of the Presidential election were transmitted electronically to INEC’s server.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the Abuja division of the court of appeal is yet to commence hearing on the 2019 presidential polls.

Meanwhile the Department of State Services has denied insinuations in some quarters that it arrested ICT staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for disclosing the Commission’s Server Identity Number to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar.

In a statement by the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanwa, yesterday, the Service stated that the statement was false. “The Service wishes to state that the information in its entirety is false and should be seen as a calculated effort to smear its image,”

“None of such things happened as it never invited or arrested any INEC staff. There is no iota of truth in these allegations and the public is, therefore, enjoined to disregard them,” he added

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