Server hack: INEC ready to meet Atiku in court – Official

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it was ready to meet the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in court to explain how he had access to its server.

The commission also said it would not join issues with politicians, especially the All Progressives Congress over allegations that some PDP agents made some failed attempts, before the postponement of the Presidential elections, to hack the INEC database.

“The commission will not join issues with political parties. The allegation made by the APC is the figment of its imagination”, INEC said.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, made the explanations in an interview with Saturday PUNCH.

Oyekanmi, who parried most of the questions posed by our correspondent responded with the refrain, “the matter is in court and so no comments.”

He however said INEC would meet Atiku in court for him to disclose how he had access to its server and made the claims that he got over 1.6 million votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

“Since this matter has become a subject of litigation, INEC will not comment on it or join issues with the PDP candidate. He (Atiku) has gone to court, we will meet him there”, Oyekanmi stressed.

He also responded to calls by the PDP and its candidate for the nullification of the presidential poll over alleged widespread irregularity and criticisms from local and international observers, including the United States ex-envoy to Nigeria.

“I do not agree with your notion that local and international observers discredited the 2019 general elections. On the contrary, the observers accredited by INEC affirmed the credibility of the 2019 polls, but noted some challenges. As far as INEC is concerned, the elections were largely free, fair and credible”, he stated.

The CPS also said INEC had put in place effective measures to ensure credible supplementary elections scheduled for Saturday.

He said, “All sensitive and other materials have been deployed. The Smart Card Readers are ready and our ad-hoc staff have undergone refresher trainings. Meetings have been held with respective stakeholders and due consultations with security agencies have also been held.

“The commission is good to go. The security agencies have pledged adequate security and professional conduct by their men during the elections. The role of the military in the electoral process is very clear. They man the third tier or outer ring of the election security architecture and they play complementary roles.

“Where a situation that is beyond the capacity of the police arises during elections, the military moves in to provide support and restore normalcy. To that extent, its role is very important.

“INEC’s response (on the delisting of parties which did not win any election) is not important. It is what the law says that is important. If the laws says, delist political parties that did not win a single seat during the general elections, the commission will implement the provisions of the law.”

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