Monday, December 4, 2023

INEC technical director tells tribunal presidential results server crashed on election day

The electoral chief’s admission came when he appeared before the presidential election petitions tribunal in Abuja on Monday.

• July 3, 2023
INEC and Peter Obi
INEC and Peter Obi

Lawrence Bayode, INEC’s deputy director in charge of technology, has said under oath that cloud servers managing transmission of presidential election results crashed on election day.

Mr Bayode however added that the failure was not directly linked to manipulation of results. He didn’t elaborate on how he was confident that the glitch did not affect results of the election, contrary to enduring outcry of the opposition.

Mr Bayode’s admission came when he appeared before the presidential election petitions tribunal in Abuja on Monday.

He was called to the witness box by INEC legal counsel A.B. Mahmoud, a senior lawyer who promised to narrow his submission to presenting certified election documents to the tribunal.

Mr Bayode also told the court that INEC had announced three days to the election that results won’t be distributed electronically, a statement that contracted widely documented position of the electoral office that results will be shared electronically in line with the latest amendments to the electoral law.

Still, petitioner Atiku Abubakar’s still said the Mr Bayode’s confirmation of a server glitch was a necessary corroboration of claims that INEC did not transmit election results properly.

Mr Bayode, based in Abuja, said he had worked at INEC for 24 years.

His appearance came a week after Mr Abubakar of the main opposition PDP concluded his case before the tribunal. Also challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as winner of the February 25 election is Peter Obi of Labour Party.

Messrs Abubakar and Obi are seeking to disqualify Mr Tinubu as an ineligible candidate for the election, raising claims that ranged from electoral malpractice to criminal background as a cocaine trafficker.

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