© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
We were instructed to transmit election results to INEC server, presiding officers tell tribunal
SOME ad-hoc officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the 2019 general elections say they transmitted election results to the commission’s server using the smart card readers.
This was contained in a ‘witness statement of oath’ deposed to by 13 separate presiding officers in the ongoing hearing of the presidential election petitions tribunal.
Former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential election, is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari before the election petitions tribunal. Atiku claimed that figures obtained from INEC’s server showed that he won the election.
INEC had announced that Buhari scored a total of 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku polled 11,262,978 votes, but Atiku and the PDP claimed that the result from INEC’s server showed that he had a total of 18,356,732 votes as against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes.
According to a report by TheCable, the 13 presiding officers affirmed that they were instructed, during their training prior to the elections, to transmit their result to the INEC server using unique codes that are specific to the smart card readers issued to them.
“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,” one of the presiding officers was quoted as stating in the statement of oath.
“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.”
Another presiding officer said: “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, Bomo State on the 23rd February 2019 Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections.”