Atiku replies to Buhari, INEC, insists poll figures not false
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the recently conducted general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his party yesterday insisted that the final results, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were those transmitted online to INEC’s website (www.inecnigeria.org).
In a reply dated April 15 and filed the same day at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal holding at the Court of Appeal, Atiku and PDP held that information, data, documents, footage, images and photographs which they are relying on are products of INEC and are not false, skewed, suborned or spurious as alleged by the commission.
They stated that they visited the said website on several dates, one of these being Friday, April 12, at 4.58 p.m. The petitioners also pleaded and relied on the said final result as published by INEC on its website.
They described INEC’s pleading in paragraph 10 of its reply as false and intended to conceal serious infractions, irregularities and malpractice committed by INEC and its officials.
They held that contrary to the denial of the first respondent (INEC) in its reply to the early petition, the table containing votes of candidates are not a conjecture.
They said it was rather the result of the acts of INEC officials who complied with its directives and training instructions on electronic transmission of votes as evidenced in training manual on election technologies and printout of votes of candidates from Smart Card Reader machines.
They said further that the servers from which the said figures were derived belonged to INEC. “The figures and votes were transmitted to INEC’s Presidential Result’s Server 1, and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019.”Responding to the allegation made by the spokesperson of President Buhari, Festus Keyamo, that it was Atiku who smuggled th e data onto the server, the petitioners urged the security agencies and Buhari to produce the evidence at that hearing in court.
Atiku and his party had on March 18 filed a petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, challenging the declaration of Buhari and the APC as winners of the presidential poll.
The petitioners claimed that contrary to I NEC’s declaration, the PDP candidate was the authentic winner of the election.
The petition No CA/PEPC/002/2019, which sought to rely on 50 sets of documents, has INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC as first to third respondents.
INEC had on February 27 declared that Buhari won the election with 15,191,847 votes, defeating Atiku whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.
But Atiku and PDP stated in their 139-page petition that from the data in the first respondent’s server, the true, actual and correct results from state to state computation showed that Abubakar polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
According to them, the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on server” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25.
But in a preliminary objection in response to the petition, INEC, through its lead counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), stated that the results of the poll were never transmitted or collated electronically.
It added that it kept no such server where such electronically transmitted results could have been obtained.