A top official of the electoral commission, INEC, Mr Mike Igini, was seen on Monday in a video clip aired at the election tribunal saying that election results from the 2019 polls would be transmitted to a central server.
Igini is INEC resident electoral commissioner in Akwa-Ibom State. The video in which he spoke was presented by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Monday’s hearing of the party’s petition challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The video clip was aired on Channels Television before conduct of 2019 elections. It was intended to prove an allegation by PDP that INEC had used a central server for the collation of results.
In the video, Igini explained that the results would be collated at the various polling units into the form EC8A after which collated results would then be transferred to the card reader and “transmitted to the central server.”
“The results declared at the polling units will then be sent directly to INEC central server,” Mr Igini said in the video clip.
The video clip was aired by PDP after the party docked its star witness, Mr Segun Sowunmi.
Sowunmi, who is a spokesperson for PDP presidential campaign, was then cross-examined based on the information in the video.
During the cross-examination, Sowunmi confirmed that Igini was not a spokesperson for the party.
PDP had requested to inspect INEC servers after alleging that details of election results were manipulated by the commission to favour Mr Buhari.
The election tribunal denied Mr Abubakar’s request to inspect INEC’s server last month, saying granting such an order would presuppose that the court had ruled that the server actually existed.
The court deferred pronouncement on the server until a proper argument has been made by both teams in the substantive petition, which entered its seventh day of hearing on Monday.
INEC’s claim and contradictions
INEC had said it did not use a central server for the conduct of the election, saying doing so would have contradicted the Electoral Act.
But in a second video, PDP showed INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu “expressing hope” that they will transmit results to a central server during the elections.
“We hope to establish a new platform for electronic collation and transmission of results,” Yakubu was heard saying in the second video.
When asked if the statement made by Yakubu regarding the electronic collation of results was “merely an expression of hope,” Sowunmi responded in the affirmative
PDP and its candidate, Abubakar, had earlier called INEC presiding officers as witnesses who testified that they did send results to a central server as directed.
Allegations of educational background
PDP also aired a third video intended to prove their allegations that President Muhammadu Buhari did not qualify for the election on educational grounds.
According to the video, taken from news previously aired by Nigerian Television Authority, Nigerian Army explained that the president had no copy of his 1961 WAEC results in the personal file created for him by the military.
Buhari’s educational qualification is one of the grounds of the petition filed by Abubakar and PDP at the presidential election tribunal.
Abubakar came second in the February presidential election won by Mr Buhari.
The opposition candidate, however, alleges, among others, that Buhari lied on oath about his educational qualifications and that the electoral commission manipulated the result in favour of the president.
PDP tendered 48 video clips as part of its evidence in the trial on Monday.