The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during its final submissions before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) said Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the petition that it transmitted results electronically and abandoned its pleadings by not calling any witnesses is “worthless.”
“This is a worthless petition. INEC did not abandon its pleadings. It only extracted salient evidence from their (petitioners) witnesses,” INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN) said on Wednesday.
“We urge the court to dismiss this petition, which was meant to test the water with two legs, and they are now falling.”
PDP and Abubakar claimed that the alleged “server” housed the results of the poll electronically transmitted by INEC during the exercise.
Moving the motion for the inspection of INEC server and other electoral materials, a lead counsel to Atiku and the PDP, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), said the request was essential to their petition challenging the declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election.
Atiku and PDP stated in their petitions that the figures obtained from INEC’s server showed they won the presidential election against Buhari and the third respondent, All Progressives Congress (APC).
Based on the figures allegedly obtained from the server, Atiku said he scored 18,356,732 votes as against those of Buhari, who he said polled 16,741,430 votes.
INEC denied the claim, insisting that it never transmitted the results of the polls any server whatsoever, but that the results were collated and declared manually.
President Muhammadu Buhari and, whose victory at the polls is being challenged by the petitioners at the tribunal, also opposed the petitioners’ request for access to the said INEC’s server.
Tribunal on June 24, in a ruling, dismissed PDP and Abubakar claim that INEC electronically transmitted the results of the February, 23 polls to the said central server. But Atiku and his party proceeded to appeal the tribunal’s ruling.
Usman, while adopting his final address, noted that the electoral act prohibits the transmission of results electronically. He maintained that the act only provides for the manual transmission of results.
“We humbly submit that INEC conducted the presidential election on the 23rd day of February 2019 in compliance with the electoral act and the petitioners can never disown that,” Usman said.
“The issues of transmitting results electronically or through server has been the greatest lie of this century because my lords they say the results transmitted were only Atiku and Buhari whereas about 70 political parties participate in the election.
“The act itself prohibits the transmission of election results electronically. The act and the manual only provide for manual transmission and collation of elections results and that is what they did and that is what their witness admitted under cross-examination.”
He, therefore, prayed the tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba to dismiss the petition. He said, “The issue of transmitting results electronically or through server has been the greatest lie of this century.”