Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Only presidential election results failed to upload to portal, INEC officials tell tribunal

The witnesses all agreed that other aspects of the election went well until it was time to upload the presidential results, and then the BVAS machines refused to work.

• June 19, 2023
presidential election petition court
Presidential election petition court

Three ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were presiding officers for the February 25 general election have told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that only the results of the presidential election refused to upload to IREV.

The three presiding officers were subpoenaed by Abubakar Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Led in evidence by the petitioner’s counsel, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, the witnesses told the court that they were able to use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine to transmit results for the senatorial and House of Representatives elections successfully.

They told the court in their testimonies that they could not use the BVAS to transmit the presidential election results, making them unsatisfied with the entire election process.

The witnesses, Janet Turaki, Christopher Ardo and Victoria Sani, told the court they were presiding officers in Yobe, Bauchi, and Katsina.

The witnesses all agreed that other aspects of the election went well until it was time to upload the presidential results, and then the BVAS machines refused to work.

Ms Turaki, under cross-examination by counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, told the court that the accreditation of voters was successful and voting went on smoothly at her polling unit.

She said it was after she attempted to upload the presidential election result after capturing it with the BVAS machine that the network went awry.

The witness said that having failed to successfully upload the presidential election results, she handed over everything to her ward collation agent and filled out the complaint form that INEC had provided for such purposes.

She said that she and other party agents present signed the result on the form EC8A before she took it to the ward.

For his part, Mr Ardo told the court under cross-examination by counsel to President Bola Tinubu, Wole Olanipekin, SAN, that he felt unfulfilled in his assignment with INEC on the election day.

He said this was due to his inability to transmit the presidential election result as required by law.

In her testimony, Ms Sani, under cross-examination by counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Charles Edosanwan, SAN, told the court that she believed that she performed her duties as a presiding officer to the best of her ability.

The five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned proceedings until Tuesday for the continuation of the hearing in the petition.

Mr Atiku and the PDP are before the court challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

One of the grounds of their petition is that INEC failed to transmit election results to its (INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) in real-time as the chairman, Yakubu Mahmood, had said it would before the election.


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