The Independent National Electoral Commission said it never transmitted the 2019 presidential election result on a server as claimed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The rebuttal was stated in INEC’s reply to the petition filed by Atiku and PDP challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, as declared by INEC on 27 February.
The commission, which is being represented by Yunus Usman (SAN), as lead counsel, said the results of the poll were never transmitted or collated electronically.
The vehement dismissal of Atiku and PDP’s claim meant that the petitioners must have been scammed to believe that the results were stored electronically.
To be sure, INEC added in its response, that it kept no such server where such electronically transmitted results could have been obtained.
INEC on February 27, 2019, four days after the poll on 23 Februaray, declared that the All Progressives Congress candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, won with 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.
But the petitioners stated that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from the “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.
By calculation, Atiku and the PDP claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes. But the commission, urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition, said in its reply filed on April 10, that the petitioners’ claims were false.
The INEC’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Mr Chidi Nwafor, in his witness statement on oath attached to the reply, specifically denied the “server results” which the petitioners were laying claim to.
He said all the results were collated manually and were never transmitted electronically.