Buhari vs Atiku: 13 Presiding Officers Attest To Transmitting Election Results Electronically To INEC Server
Abuja was venue for the sitting of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal where about 13 Presiding Officers (POs) from Borno and Yobe states revealed that they transmitted results of the February 23 Presidential election in their various units and wards to the official server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), this disclosure was made in their respective Witness Statement of Oath in support of the petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC)
According to their statements, INEC had instructed them on how to transmit the results to its server during their training, however, this statement is a direct contradiction to the submission of INEC. INEC in its submission stated that no results were sent to its server, INEC claimed that no results were transmitted electronically and as such had no result in its server.
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Recall that in Atiku’s 139-page petition submission before the tribunal, he stated that, going by the data in INEC’s server, the true, actual and correct results showed that he (Atiku) secured a total of 18,356,732 votes against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes, so in response to paragraph 29 of the 3rd Respondent’s reply, the petitioners said that the data and scores in the 1st Respondent’s Server were as transmitted by the 1st Respondent’s officials and those scores are valid, and legitimate.
In all, Atiku’s legal team listed about 13 Presiding Officers from different wards in Borno State and also attached their witness statement on oath in Atiku’s reply to the objection filed by the 3rd respondent, APC, to Atiku’s petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
According to one of the POs
“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, Borno State on the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections.
“The training covered the duties of all 1st Respondent’s ad-hoc staff at the polling units and the procedure for the conduct of election which includes accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of results as well as the use of Smart Card Reader (SCR), amongst others.
“At the 1st Respondent training, we were specifically instructed that the use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of results is mandatory and that any election conducted without the use of the Smart Card Reader would be invalid.
“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.
“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.”