As former Vice President Atiku Abubakar battles his allegedly stolen mandate at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) against President Muhammadu Buhari, more revelation on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Server controversy keeps unfolding.
Atiku had following the declaration of President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 23 presidential poll alleged that he was the true winner of the election based on results he obtained from INEC central server.
The former VP who is the PDP candidate in the election vowed that he must recover his mandate in court, saying that INEC Server Results shows that he won the election with over 1.6million votes.
INEC had however denied Atiku’s claim, saying that results were not collated nor transmitted electronically and there was no central server were the results were kept as alleged by PDP and its candidate. It added that Atiku’s results were fake.
Naija Buzz News in a recent report published how the electoral body responded to the claim by Atiku at the PEPT. INEC in its response said that Atiku and PDP is asking them to provide a server they don’t have.
Naija Buzz News also reported how an INEC National Official revealed that a central server was used in the Osun, Anambra and Sokoto elections which was held in 2018 before the 2019 general election. The electoral official however further noted that although it was used in Osun, the technology was not used in the general elections.
This time around, several officials of the electoral umpire who participated in the 2019 presidential election as electoral officers reveals that they transmitted results electronically to a central server through the smart card reader.
These officials noted that the transmission of results to a central server was in compliance with directive they received from INEC.
The presiding officers further revealed that they were informed that there was a central server in Abuja where the results being transmitted from card readers would be collated electronically, adding that they cannot submit the card readers without transmitting the results.
A handbook for the election talked about how presiding officers should use the card readers to collate results electronically. According to the handbook, after successfully filling the EC8A result sheet and announcing the result, the presiding officer shall tap the e-collation application on the home screen.
Although noted yet confirmed by Naija Buzz News, there is an icon labelled “Communicate” on the smart card readers which was allegedly used to transmit accreditation data to a central server.
Part of Atiku’s petition is non accreditation of voters in certain areas like in Borno State where Buhari got very huge votes despite an attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group on the Election Day.
Naija Buzz News so far after analyzing the details can report that INEC had made preparations and provisions for electronic transmission and collation of results in the 2019 general elections.
INEC also apparently told its Presiding Officers to transmit data (accreditation and results) to a central server (which location we don’t know).
Page 10 (C)(x) of the INEC electoral regulations and guidelines for the 2019 general elections also mandated presiding officers to transmit the result as prescribed in the Electoral Act.
The problem however is that the amended Electoral Act to accommodate the electronic collation and transmission of result by law was not signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
WILL THE COURT CANCEL ALL ELECTRONICALLY TRANSMITTED AND COLLATED RESULTS SHOULD IT DISCOVER BEYOND DOUBTS THAT A SERVER REALLY DOES EXISTS DESPITE NOT SUPPORTED BY THE ELECTORAL ACT?
The answer to this question Naija Buzz News predicts would determine the final verdict on Atiku and PDP petitions against INEC, Buhari and APC.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.