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PDP & Atiku Is Asking Us To Provide Access To A Server That Doesn't Exist - INEC Tells Court

The Nigeria election umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Thursday insisted that it had no electronic server being sought to be accessed and inspected by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the February 23, 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

INEC denied the existence of such server in its reply filed on April 10, 2019 to oppose Atiku and PDP’s petition pending before the five-man tribunal. The petitioners are by their petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the last presidential election.

INEC, Buhari and the APC who are the respondents to the petition and to the petitioners’ application for access to the server used for the election, on Thursday, asked the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel to dismiss the petitioners’ request. The three respondents, through their respective counsels, reminded the tribunal that the Court of Appeal had, on May 6, 2019 (before the petition was filed on May 18), dismissed a similar application filed by the petitioners.

Represented at the Thursday’s proceedings by its lead counsel, Mr. Yunus Usman (SAN), INEC said the application by the petitioners amounted to asking the commission to produce what it did not have. Urging the tribunal to dismiss the application, Usman said, 

“We attached as Exhibit 1, the enrolled order of this honourable court made on May 6, 2019 refusing all the prayers of the petitioners in this application. “They said we should bring what we don’t have.”

Recall that INEC had declared Buhari and APC the winner of the February 23 election. They announced that Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.

But Atiku and the PDP, in their petition filed on March 18 challenging the outcome of the poll, contended that “from the data” obtained from INEC’s server, “the true, actual and correct results” showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes. By calculation, Atiku and PDP claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

The petitioners, through their lead counsel, Dr. Livy Ozoukwu, subsequently filed an application on May 8, 2019, seeking an order of the tribunal permitting them to access and inspect the INEC’s server into which results and other data were allegedly transmitted during the February 23 poll.

A senior member of the petitioners’ legal team, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), moved the application on Thursday. Uche urged the tribunal to grant the application in the interest of justice, transparency and neutrality, saying it was necessary for his team to be able to maintain the petition. He said, 

“The application in summary asks for access to and inspection of the server of the INEC and the smart card readers used in the conduct of the presidential election. “We have addressed the issues in our counter-affidavit, written address and reply on points of law and we urge your lordships that the application be granted as prayed in the interest of justice, transparency and neutrality.

“The application is necessary for the maintenance of this petition.”

Reacting first, INEC’s lead counsel, Usman, referred the tribunal to his client’s counter-affidavit filed on May 23 in opposition to the application. He added that the Court of Appeal having earlier refused similar application, same should not be granted again.

The leader of Buhari’s legal team, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), also urged the tribunal to dismiss the application.

Editor's Note:

I think this country is a joke. Though I stand corrected but judging from the way things are going,  especially within the political class, as well as Nigeria judiciary, one is inclined to assume the worst. 

Was it not same INEC server APC petitioned DSS and police alleging that PDP hacked the server? Good thing no news on the internet can ever get lost. Click here to read the full article on Vanguard news or checkout the screenshot below..

I'm indeed baffled and appalled for the part this country has chosen to take. It now occurred to me that Atiku Abubarka may have won the said election. And Note this,  INEC maybe taking orders from Mohammadu Buhari himself.  After all,  he appointed their chairman. 

Well,  it's just one person's opinions or maybe 40% of Nigerians opinion. Good things is,  the other 60% are also entitle to theirs. 

What say you? 

Actually,  hold your thoughts for a second. Before you contribute, recall in 2015, INEC in their own press release observed that its decision to deploy SCRs for the 2015 general elections have FOUR main objectives and one of those objectives is:

"The Smart Card Reader sends the data of all accredited voters to INEC’s central server, equipping the Commission to be able to audit figures subsequently filed by polling officials at the PU and, thereby, be able to determine if fraudulent alterations were made. The public demonstration also succeeded wholly in this regard".

If this alone doesn't tell you INEC is denying the existence of their own server, then we've all gone bananas. In conclusion, Smart Card readers work with the INEC server. Without central server, the smart card readers will not function and will be useless. If the 2019 presidential elections was conducted with smart card readers then there is a server.

Another powerful point to note, is that INEC budgeted the sum of N220million for INEC server maintenance during the 2019 elections which was duly approved by the Federal Government.

So the question is, INEC where is your server? If you claim you don't have one,  then who stole N220m ? 

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