Tribunal Hears Atiku’s Motion Seeking Access To INEC Server

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has fixed Thursday, June 13
for hearing of the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku
Abubakar’s application for access to the Independent National Electoral
Commission’s electronic server.

Igbere TV reports that Abubakar
and his party, PDP are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu
Buhari and his party, All Progressives Congress at the February 23
presidential election.

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

But
Atiku and the PDP, in their petition filed on March 18 to challenge the
outcome of the poll, contended that “from the data obtained from INEC’s
server, the true, actual and correct results showed that we 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.

However,
in its reply filed on April 10 to counter the petition, INEC urged the
tribunal to dismiss the petition, insisting that the petitioners’ claims
were false.

It said, through its lead counsel, Yunus Usman
(SAN), that it collated the results of the election manually and never
transmitted them electronically.

It added that it kept no server
where results could have been transmitted electronically and stored as
alleged by the petitioners.

However, the petitioners, in their
application filed on May 8, maintained that “INEC kept central servers
in which information was recorded and stored in database packets
relating to accreditation of voters and transmission of results from the
presidential election”.

They sought to be permitted to inspect
the said servers and the card readers used for the conduct of the poll,
examine and analyse the information obtained from them.

They also
prayed for the tribunal’s permission to be allowed to file a report of
their inspection, examination and analysis of the content of the
facilities.

The applicants filed 13 grounds to back their application and their claims in it.

Part
of the grounds of the application acknowledged that INEC was
constitutionally and statutorily vested with the responsibility to
conduct and manage the presidential election and set up electronic data
central servers.

Maintaining that INEC deployed the servers for
the conduct of the February 23 poll, they said as part of the grounds of
their application, “the results of the election were electronically
transmitted to the 1st respondent’s Central Server”.

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