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Election Tribunal: Presidential Election Results Refused To Upload- INEC Staffs Tell Court

The three witnesses, Janet Turaki, Christopher Ardo, and Victoria Sani, identified themselves as presiding officers in Yobe, Bauchi, and Katsina states, respectively.

By Johnson Atoukudu:

Three temporary employees of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who served as Presiding Officers during the general election on February 25, testified to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that only the results of the presidential election were not successfully uploaded to the IREV platform.

These three Presiding Officers were summoned by Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Led by the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, the witnesses informed 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.

However, during their separate testimonies, they explained that they encountered difficulties in using the BVAS to transmit the presidential election results, which left them dissatisfied with the overall election process.

The three witnesses, Janet Turaki, Christopher Ardo, and Victoria Sani, identified themselves as presiding officers in Yobe, Bauchi, and Katsina states, respectively.

All witnesses concurred that the other aspects of the election proceeded smoothly until the time came to upload the presidential results, at which point the BVAS machines failed to function.

Under cross-examination by INEC’s counsel, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, Turaki testified that voter accreditation and voting proceeded without issues at her polling unit. However, she experienced network problems when attempting to upload the presidential election result after capturing it with the BVAS machine.

Turaki stated that since she couldn’t successfully upload the presidential election results, she handed over all the materials to her ward collation agent and filled out the complaint form provided by INEC for such instances. She also mentioned that she and other party agents present signed the result on form EC8A before she took it to the ward.

During cross-examination by President Bola Tinubu’s counsel, Mr Wole Olanipekin, SAN, Ardo expressed dissatisfaction with his assignment at INEC on the election day due to his inability to transmit the presidential election result as required by law.

In her testimony, Sani, under cross-examination by the All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Mr Charles Edosanwan, SAN, stated that she believed 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.

Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and the PDP have brought their case before the court to challenge the outcome of the presidential election held on February 25. One of the grounds of their petition is that INEC failed to transmit election results in real-time to its INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV), as Chairman Mr Yakubu Mahmood had promised prior to the election.

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