The Department of State Security, DSS, on Thursday said that it had uncovered plans by certain persons and groups to announce election results before the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, concludes its collation exercise.
In a press statement issued Thursday, Marilyn Ogar, the agency’s spokesperson, urged Nigerian citizens, election observers and the International community to disregard election results which are not announced by INEC.
“Information at the disposal of this Service has revealed that certain mischievous persons or groups have concluded plans to announce election results before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concludes its collation exercise.
“This statement therefore is to advice all citizens of Nigeria, election observers and the International community to disregard election results which are not announced by INEC, as the commission remains the only authentic body authorized to do so,” the statement read.
Urging voters to remain vigilant, the agency warned all those who have no business with the electoral process to keep away from Polling Units and Collation Centres.
The DSS release was issued after Premium Times, an online news medium, announced that it had set up an election situation room portal on its website. The digital newspaper said that the portal would reel out results as they are announced at polling centres.
Interestingly, the online newspaper said that its website has come under serious cyber attack since it launched the election result portal on Thursday night.
The managing editor of the newspaper, Musikilu Mojeed, confirmed the attacks, saying that the malicious cyber-attack brought down the Premium Times website although it had managed to put it back up.
The Premium Times election portal was set up as a comprehensive resource platform for holding crucial data and to enable users to live blog the polls and visualise results in real time.
The election centre is also intended to showcase extensive reportage on the coming polls from journalists in various parts of the country, while also providing professional updates on voting progress, incident reports, news and results as announced in polling units.
Mojeed who described the centre’s function also stated that “the centre’s live result database is planned to serve as a kind of reliable vote tabulation platform to be fed by polling units results across the country, making same available to the general public in near real-time”.
“Users are able to use the data collated on the platform to instantly see how the candidates are performing based on polling unit results entered into the system.
“We believe that results announced by INEC staff at polling units, in the presence of party agents and voters are the purest form of election results,” he said.