APC Says DSS Accusation of Hacking INEC Database Is Hogwash

In a swift reaction to accusations by the Department of State Security, DSS, that it planned to hack into the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the security agency of partisanship in its findings, describing it as “hogwash” and a great disservice to Nigeria and an embarrassment to all intelligence-gathering organizations around the world.

In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC also described the timing of the release of the findings as “a plot orchestrated in collusion with the PDP to distract the APC from its on-going campaigns for next month’s elections.”

The APC further described the conclusions of the DSS investigation as “disingenuous, flimsy, premeditated, partisan and an irritant the conclusion”, noting that while it originally accused itof cloning of permanent voters’ cards, PVCs, the agency now accuses it of planning to hack INEC’s database.

”First the DSS and the PDP said the APC was cloning Permanent Voters Cards at the raided office, without a shred of evidence. Now, after a ‘painstaking’ investigation, the DSS has found out that the APC was only planning to inflate its membership data and then hack into INEC’s database. And this is the outcome of its massive, months-long investigations?” the party queried.

While also frowning at the presentation of the findings by the DSS spokesman, Matylin Ogar, whom the party said it “politicised” and sounded “like a megaphone for the ruling party”, the APC said its fears that democracy was at risk in Nigeria had been reinforced by the conclusions reached by the investigation.

”We have always warned that our democracy is in clear and present danger, not just from desperate politicians, but also from institutions of state that have compromised in their roles and resorted to crass lawlessness. The DSS’ ‘findings’ today have given us another reason to repeat this warning,” the party said.

While expressing the readiness to defend itself in court against any allegations, the APC restated its earlier accusation that the DSS obtained confessions from those arrested at its Data Office through torture.

”While we are willing to meet the DSS in court, we can confidently say that the ‘confessions’ extracted from the arrested persons, after they were subjected to incredible acts of torture, cannot even stand in any court of law,” APC said.

It recalled: ”Guns were pointed at their heads by DSS personnel who threatened to shoot them, while a pregnant woman among those who were arrested was denied access to her drugs even when she started bleeding due to the torture to which she was subjected by the DSS. Now the DSS has confirmed what we said in that press statement. Is anyone still surprised at the action of countries that are distancing themselves from Nigeria over human rights violations?”



    However, the statement by Mohammed failed to address specific allegations made by Ogar at the presentation of the DSS findings,

    The DSS spokesman had alleged that the APC planned to hack into the INEC database and replace the electoral body’s voter register with its own prepared membership register.

    Other accusations were that the “APC had multiple registrations of individuals in multiples of 16, 12, and 10” and that it registered foreigners and under aged persons, including babies.

    The DSS also said it recovered from the party’s office a training manual on hacking web servers, avoid detection as well as “hack into the systems of media houses with the aim of broadcasting fake stories or headlines.”

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