The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, is set to call Microsoft, IBM and Oracle experts to authenticate his claim that the servers belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by over 1.6 million votes.
Atiku also identified the server where the results are kept as INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 and its unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535.
The PDP candidate said this in fresh response to the reply of INEC to his petition.
Atiku and the PDP will also be expected to tender INEC’s training manual on elections, a printout of the votes of candidates from smart card readers and a printout of the forensic audit report on INEC’s server as evidence.
The former Vice-President and the PDP claimed to have polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress who he said scored 16,741,430 votes.
However, INEC’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Mr Chidi Nwafor, in his witness statement on oath attached to the reply, specifically denied the “server results” which the PDP and Atiku were laying claim to.
He said all the results were collated manually and were never transmitted electronically.
Atiku, in his fresh response, said the figures he claimed to have scored were genuine.
The reply read in part, “The servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the 1st respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the 1st respondent’s Presidential result’s server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 whose physical address or unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535. The descriptions are unique to the 1st respondent’s server.”
On how the case would be argued, the PDP and Atiku stated, “The petitioners will at the trial of this petition rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, amongst others.”
The PDP candidate and his party said one of the spokespersons for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo (SAN), even attested to the fact that the election data was in INEC’s servers when he wrote a petition to the Inspector-General of Police calling on him to arrest Atiku.
The petition further stated, “The spokesperson for the second respondent’s campaign organisation (Keyamo) openly admitted that the data in question was in the first respondent’s server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the IGP and the Director of the Department of State Services asking the security agencies to investigate the second petitioner (the PDP) for allegedly hacking into the server of the first respondent (INEC) and obtaining the data in question.
“Specifically, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN) claimed in the petition that it was the first petitioner (Atiku) who smuggled the data into the server. The petitioners (Atiku and the PDP) hereby plead the said petition to the security agencies and the second respondent is hereby given notice to produce them at hearing.”
The PDP and Atiku said INEC’s claim that the transmission of results was purely manual was a lie.
They made references to several press statements issued by INEC insisting that there would be an electronic component of results collation.
Atiku and his party said there was nothing in the Electoral Act that barred INEC from transmitting results electronically.
They said INEC also lied when it claimed that its directive on election day was that card readers should only be used in areas where they worked.
The PDP and its presidential candidate added, “The petitioners shall at trial lead evidence to show that the first respondent (INEC) stated on several occasions before and after the elections that the use of card readers was compulsory.”
The petitioners also stated that INEC through its Chairman and Returning Officer, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, committed grave errors in the final collation of the presidential results.
The INEC boss was said to have muddled up the results, announcing the wrong figures for wrong political parties.
Atiku and his party said in the Form EC8E INEC falsely credited Rev. Chris Okotie (Presidential candidate of the Fresh Democratic Party) with a wrong political party and wrong scores and in the same vein, the INEC boss falsely credited Rev. Onwubuya Abraham (presidential candidate of Freedom and Justice Party) with a wrong political party and wrong scores.
The INEC chairman was also accused of falsely crediting Ojinika Chizee (presidential candidate of the Coalition for Change) and Abah Elaigwu (Change Advocacy Party) with the wrong scores and wrong political parties.
Meanwhile, the PDP has come to the defence of Atiku’s lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), whom INEC claimed was not a legal practitioner and was not licensed to practise law.
In a witness statement signed by a former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, the party said Uzoukwu was called to the bar in 1982 and was even the attorney-general of Imo State from 1994 to 1996. – Punch.