By Omeiza Ajayi
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has denied the arrest of some staff of its Information and Communication Technology, ICT unit by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, on the suspicion of leaking official secrets to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
INEC’s Director in charge of Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi told Saturday Vanguard that there was nothing of such, describing the report as a social media hoax.
“There is nothing like that. We saw it on Thursday and it trended a little. Our staff are intact. None of them was picked by the DSS, but you may also wish to clarify with the DSS. In fact, when I drew the attention of the INEC Chairman to it, he also dismissed it,” said Osaze-Uzi.
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Atiku’s counsel at the Presidential Election Tribunal had tendered results it said the PDP got from the INEC servers. The results reportedly showed that Atiku garnered 18,356,732 million votes as against Buhari, said to have scored 16,741,430 million votes.
Atiku also identified the server where the results are kept as INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 and its unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535, vowing to call the manufacturers of the computers for authentication.
INEC had dismissed the position of the PDP on the grounds that the election results were never transmitted to the server as they were collated manually.
However, there were reports yesterday that some staff of the ICT unit were arrested by the DSS, only to be released when their spouses threatened a public protest. Apart from Osaze-Uzi, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi also dismissed the message as mere tissues of lies urging the public to disregard it.
“The report is false. There were no such arrests. Why didn’t the source mention the names of staff members that were arrested? Please disregard”.