Some presiding officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said they transmitted official results from their polling units to the servers of the electoral body.
Their claims contradict the position of the commission which earlier claimed it did not transmit the result of this year’s presidential election electronically.
Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who lost the presidential election to President Muhammadu Buhari, had petitioned the Presidential Election Tribunal over the outcome of the exercise.
Mr Abubakar, a former vice president said results from the servers of INEC clearly showed he won the election with 18,356,732 votes against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes but INEC overturned his victory by claiming the president got 15,191,847 votes as against the 11,262,978 votes attributed to him.
But distancing itself from the claims of the former vice president, the electoral body denied it collated or transmitted results of the election to its servers online.
However, the submission of some presiding officers that conducted the election does not tally with the position of INEC.
They claimed that they were personally trained by the commission on how to transmit the result of the election to the commission’s servers.
This was made known in the petition filed by Atiku and his party through the respective Witness Statement of Oath they made.
According to News Telegraph, one of the PO from Borno State claimed to have received training on how to discharge his duties on the day of the exercise.
“I was employed as an ad hoc staff and trained for three days by the 1st Respondent at the Government College, Maiduguri, Bomo 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,” the witness said.
“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.”
Furthermore, in the witness statements of the Presiding Officer of Daza Primary School Code 001,Daze Marte Ward of Borno State, who was coded as BU; the Presiding Officer of Mustapha Ali Bama, Code 036, Mafoni MCC Ward, who was coded IM; the Presiding Officer of Binkalion Code 003, Maisandari Damaturu ward Yobe, coded as AB and APO of Kafan Sarki Code 007, Yabir-Gujba of Yobe state, coded as AW; they all admitted that the results of the Presidential election were transmitted electronically to INEC’s server.