APC Alleges Plot to Postpone Elections, Blasts DSS

The All Progressives Congress, APC has accused the Department of State Security, DSS, of complicity in an alleged plot to postpone the general elections scheduled for February.

In a press conference held Sunday at the APC data centre in Lagos, the party’s national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, alleged that the growing rejection of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by Nigerians had forced the party into “embarking on a plan to postpone the elections.”

Asserting that the intelligence agency was working with the ruling party, Mohammed said that the recent report released by the DSS on its findings after the raid on the APC’s data centre was intended to raise doubts about the integrity of the voter’s register to be used for the forthcoming polls, thereby forcing a postponement of the polls.

He said that the recent calls for postponement of the election by prominent persons in the nation were a pointer to the purported plan.

Declaring the DSS as “an embarrassment to intelligence gathering organizations around the world”, the APC spokesman dismissed the security agency’s allegations of a plot to hack the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and described the findings as pre-determined, asserting that the agency “worked backwards, from answer to question” in a bid to reach its conclusion.

Mohammed drew attention to the fact that INEC’s database is a reflection of citizens who registered for permanent voter’s cards, PVCs, and that the raid was carried out at a time when the cards had already been printed and were ready for distribution.

“Of what value would it be to hack into the system and input more names?” Mohammed asked.

“INEC’s database is not online, how then is it possible for anyone to hack into it?” he further queried.

Mohammed claimed that in a bid to prevent virus intrusion on the party’s systems, the APC had no internet service and allowed no external hard drives in its data centre facility and had already disabled all the USB ports on the computer systems.

He wondered how was possible for external hard drives containing hacking materials to be found on premises as alleged by the DSS.

Stating that the youths employed as data-entry personnel in the party’s data centres nationwide only had basic computer knowledge, he alleged that it was the DSS, being hacking experts as an intelligence outfit, which procured the external hard drives, loaded it with the alleged hacking tutorials and planted it in the data centre.

Drawing attention to the timing of the raid, the APC spokesman stated that it was no coincidence that the DSS raided the data centre a week before the commencement of the PVC distribution exercise on November 28, 2014.

He alleged that the raid was executed to ascertain the APC’s numerical strength in terms of party membership, pointing out that many of the party’s registered members could not locate their names on INEC list during the PVC distribution exercise.

While dismissing the allegation of card cloning, the APC spokesman queried the DSS’ inability to display a single cloned PVC or provide evidence of multiple registration, and registration of under-aged members or babies.

He accused the security agency of carting away unused membership forms in order to affix pictures of babies and law enforcement, or military personnel in a bid to implicate the APC.

“The question to ask the DSS is: “will any serving member of the armed forces or paramilitary organizations be so daft as to join a political party, using a passport photograph of himself or herself in uniform?”

“Our application also edits date of births, and so will not allow the registration of under-aged persons. The DSS should tell the world where it got the pictures of the babies that it affixed to the blank forms carted away from our data centre,” Mohammed stated.

Addressing the DSS’ reference to confessions obtained from workers arrested at the data centre, Mohammed reiterated the APC’s claim in a press statement issued December 5, 2014, that the agency had resorted to torture to obtain forced confessions from the arrested workers.






     

     

    The APC had called the action of the DSS a contravention of the UN Convention against Torture and a violation of the fundamental rights of its staff and condemned their treatment, which allegedly included chaining, threats of being shoot and denial of medical treatment to a pregnant worker.

    He also debunked the DSS claim of having charged the workers to court, stating that it was the APC who has since filed court proceedings against the security agency over the issue.

    “We are the ones who charged the DSS to court and the court ordered the security agency to release the arrested workers. We are confident that the ‘confessions’ extracted from these people, after they were subjected to incredible acts of torture cannot even stand in any court of law.

    The DSS raided the APC data centre in Lagos on November 22, 2014, justifying the action with claims that it had received information that the facility was being used to clone PVCs in order to influence the outcome of the forthcoming general elections.

     

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