MINISTER of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deliberately withheld the real-time upload of the presidential election results from polling units due to a suspected cyber attack.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mohammed stated this during his official engagements with some international media organisations in Washington DC, the United States, on Monday, April 3.
The minister said the cyber attack was why INEC did not upload the results to preserve the data’s integrity.
“INEC, suspecting cyber attack, withheld the uploading of the results in order to preserve the integrity of the data.
“It immediately proceeded to float an alternative platform while asking its technicians to investigate what happened to its original portal.”
Mohammed stated that the controversy was unnecessary and had been the fulcrum of the argument of the critics of the election.
The minister explained that IREV, a platform whereby election results at the polling level are uploaded, was not a tool for the collation of election results or to transmit results electronically.
He said under Nigerian laws, the management of election results is manual, and the court has ruled that INEC has the exclusive right to determine the mode of election, its collation and transmission.
He added that as soon as the original portal started working, the results were viewed from the two platforms.
Mohammed said that allegations of fraud being bandied by the opposition and naysayers did not add up.
Mohammed’s statement contradicts the Commission’s assertion that it failed to upload the results due to technical glitches, not cyber attacks.
INEC had come under fire over its inability to upload results immediately on its Result Viewing portal during the presidential and National Assembly elections held on 25 February.
The issue of real-time upload was one of the bases on which two opposition candidates are challenging the results of the election won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.