Election Tribunal: INEC Staff Confirms Results Of 2019 Elections Were Transmitted To...

Election Tribunal: INEC Staff Confirms Results Of 2019 Elections Were Transmitted To A Server

By News Agency of Nigeria on July 9, 2019
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Kola Ologbondiyan, Mahmood Yakubu, Amina Zakari
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu on his left is Mrs Amina Bala Zakari, a relative of President Buhari and a director in INEC

Adejuyitan Olalekan, a presiding officer during the February 23 presidential election, told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, on Monday, July 8, 2019, that he personally transmitted the results collated at his polling unit during the poll.

Olalekan took the witness stand as the petitioners’ third witness at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who are by their petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.

Olalekan who was earlier led by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), to adopt his witness statement on oath as his evidence-in-chief, was not asked to mention the state or the polling unit where he worked during the poll.

Under cross-examination by Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Olalekan, who said he was a lecturer at African Community of Inquiry College of Education in Enugu State, maintained that he personally transmitted the collated results at his polling unit.

Obi, who said he functioned as Registration Area Technician at a ward level in Rivers State during the election, said the Independent National Electoral Commission trained him and others to transmit the results of the poll.

Obi, who earlier adopted his witness statement on oath which he deposed to on April 26, as his evidence-in-chief, said this while fielding questions from INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), under cross-examination.

“I did it myself as the Presiding Officer. I transmitted through the code provided by INEC,” he said.

But when asked by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), Olalekan said he did not have the name or the number of the server.

Fielding questions from APC’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), the witness said, “Without the code, you cannot make any transmission of results”.

But asked if he attached the code with which he claimed to have transmitted the collated results to his witness statement on oath, he said he did not but had it on his phone.

While being cross-examined by Olanipekun, the witness maintained that all the voters at his polling units voted via card reader as the machine worked perfectly.

He also insisted that INEC did not direct Presiding Officers to allow voters who could not be authenticated by the card reader machine to vote manually with their picture captured.

He said, “No, we were not directed to allow people to vote manually.

“The card reader worked for every voter who came to my polling unit.”

Testimony of INEC Officer Mr. Peter Uzioma Obi

Petitioners’ second witness at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Mr. Peter Uzioma Obi, on Monday, said it was wrong to say the results of the February 23, 2019 presidential election were not transmitted electronically.

Obi took the witness stand at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who are by their petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.

Obi, who said he functioned as Registration Area Technician at a ward level in Rivers State during the election, said the Independent National Electoral Commission trained him and others to transmit the results of the poll.

Obi, who earlier adopted his witness statement on oath which he deposed to on April 26, as his evidence-in-chief, said this while fielding questions from INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), under cross-examination.

“You are not supposed to transmit results because you are not a presiding officer,” Usman asked.

Responding, Obi said, “You are wrong sir. INEC trained us to transmit results. I was not a presiding officer. I was not a polling agent. I was a registration area technician appointed by INEC. I was trained by INEC.”

Fielding questions from Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), he said he was not aware of the guidelines used by the INEC for the presidential election, but added that there was a specific guidelines booklet issued for his roles as a RATECH.

“I was a RATECH in charge of the use of card reader,” he said.

He said he was not aware of Olanipekun’s claim that there was no designation in the INEC’s guidelines as Registration Area Technician

He said he operated at the ward level with the Local Government Technician and the State Technician as his superiors.

He added that he was not stationed at any polling unit during the election but visited the ones where his attention was needed. He said he visited seven polling units in the course of the election.

Fielding questions from APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Obi said the lawyer was not entirely correct to say that it was the duty of the Presiding Officer “to do accreditation, verification authentication, and collation at the Poling Units.”

The witness said, “You are not entirely correct sir, because we were told at the training that the Assistant Polling Officer 1, was in charge of accreditation.”

Fielding more questions, he said, “I did not serve as APO1 and I did not serve as the Presiding Officer.”

He said he did not act on his own, contrary to Fagbemi’s suggestion.

“I have a letter to show that I was shortlisted.”

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