It was a feisty day at the Presidential Election Petitions Court on Tuesday as the expert witness of the Labour Party from Amazon Web Services Incorporated USA, returned to the witness box for her cross-examination.

The witness Clareta Ogar, who identified herself as a cloud engineer and cloud architect, had earlier told the court that there were no glitches on February 25, 2023, when the presidential election held that could have affected the e-transmission of results.

She was put through a series of questions that got the proceedings heated up at some point when the counsel for the respondents tried to establish what her link with the organization she claims she works for is. Reference was made to her appointment verification letter which bears the name Employee Resource Centre and not Amazon Web Services, AWS, Inc; and also that there is no identification card from the company confirming her as an employee.

An attempt by the Labour Party counsel to intervene by insisting the witness had responded appropriately led to a reprimand by the Justices who cautioned him for disrupting proceedings. The Presiding Justice said “You are going about this as if you are in parliament. You are a senior counsel Ikwueto, there are juniors behind you”. The next most senior member on the panel, Justice Stephen Adah said, “Please don’t interject if you don’t want us to take meaner action against you.”

But Ikwueto insisted he only was trying to help the court, and the court directed the respondents to proceed with the cross-examination.

In response to why the witness did not tender her identification card, she responded that AWS does not issue identification cards, and that all employment verifications from Amazon Web Services are issued by Employee Resource Centre of the company.

She also denied being in court as a representative of the company she works for and on the mandate of Amazon Web Services, but as an expert subpoenaed witness to speak as a cloud engineer.

This led to further questioning on how she got the report she submitted before the court, and she responded that they are public information posted on the AWS Amazon.

Asked whether the report she submitted is a product of Amazon, but she claimed ownership of it on the ground that she was the one that submitted it before the court.

The court also noted, based on her admittance that the subpoena that compelled her appearance was not delivered to the company she works for, but to her in person.

This led to a digging into the background of the witness, who confirmed that she is a member of the Labour Party and that she contested for a House of Reps election in her constituency in Cross River State, which she lost but denied allusions that she is a Labour Party activist.

On further questioning, the witness confirmed that she had sued INEC after it failed to publish her name in the final list of candidates; and that her main complaint was that she could not upload her information on the INEC
website due to network failure. She however refused to accept that network failure is a form of network glitch.

The respondents’ counsel also read out information showing periods in which the Amazon cloud services suffered glitches globally on February 27, 2017. While the witness confirmed that the glitch actually occurred, she held on to the position that the health status report as at the day of the presidential election on February 25, 2023 showed there was no glitch on the infrastructure that hosted applications and accounts including that of INEC.


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