About 13 Presiding Officers (POs) in Borno and Yobe states have revealed at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja that they transmitted the results of the February 23 Presidential election in their various units and wards to the official server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The POs disclosed this in their Witness Statement of Oath in support of the petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC)
They stated that the INEC had instructed them on how to transmit the results to its server during their training For the election.
The position of the POs, however, contradicted the submission of INEC who had stated in its reply to the petition that the results were not sent to its server.
Atiku had in his 139-page petition before the tribunal stated that from the data in INEC’s server, the true, actual and correct results showed that he (Atiku) secured a total of 18,356,732 votes against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes.
But, INEC stated that there was no result in its server and that the presidential election results were not transmitted electronically.
However, in reaction to paragraph 29 of the 3rd Respondent’s reply, the petitioners said that the data and scores in the 1st Respondent’s Server were as transmitted by the 1st Respondent’s officials and those scores are valid, and legitimate.
Atiku, through his team of counsel, led by Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), had listed about 13 Presiding Officers from different wards in Borno State and also attached their witness statement on oath.
All these are contained in Atiku’s reply to the objection filed by APC, who is the 3rd respondent, to his (Atiku’s) petition before the Presidential tribunal, wherein he is challenging the election that produced Buhari, PremiumTimes reports.
One of the POs said, “I was employed as an ad hoc staff and trained for three days by the 1st Respondent at the Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State to serve as a Presiding Officer (PO) at Waliri Polling Unit with Code 003, of Shehun Barna Ward, Borno State on the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections.
“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.”
Also, 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.