INEC closes case in Obi, LP petition

(Last Updated On: July 5, 2023)From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, opened and closed its defence in the joint petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) and Peter Obi before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
A deputy director in the Information and Communication Technology department (ICT), of the commission, Dr. Lawrence Bayode testified as a sole witness in the petition.

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After his testimony, lead counsel to INEC legal team, Abubakar Mahmoud, announced the closure of his client’s case. Before the testimony of the witness, Mahmoud tendered some documents that were admitted in evidence.
Under cross examination, Bayode said even if blurred documents were downloaded from IREV,  it will not affect the physical results as recorded in Forms EC8As which are not blurred.
He equally told the court that the images of Forms EC8A capture with BVAS and transmitted to IREv are not relevant for the collation of results.
At the proceedings, Bayode was presented with several INEC Form EC8As (polling units) downloaded from the IReV portal and certified by the electoral umpire, and was told by Obi’s lawyer, P.I.N Ikweto to read out the scores of the All Progressives Congress candidate.
The witness who was fielded by INEC, said he could not read out the scores because they were blurred. The petitioners have alleged  and tendered 18,088 polling unit results downloaded from IREV that were blurred and which amounted to about 2.5 million potential votes for him.
But the witness said Olanipekun, Tinubu’s lawyer, was right to say that the images uploaded on IREV were not relevant for collation of results.
He said he was aware that the E-Naira application launched by the Federal Government on October 18, 2021 has not been activated due to technological issues.
Boyade, however, stated that the “technical glitches” experienced with the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) on election day was eventually resolved by his team.
Before he started testifying, INEC counsel, A.B. Mahmoud, tendered some documents listed as 1,2, 3, 4 and 7 on his schedule of documents.
The documents he sought to tender were Certified True copies of the APC letter dated 6th July 2022 and acknowledged by INEC on 13th of July, CTC of Bola Tinubu’s letter dated July 6 and CTC of INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Election 2022.
Others were CTC of INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023 and CTC of INEC letter dated 10th March with approved procedure for Issuance of CTC of documents attached.
The witness, through Mahmoud, also tendered Amazon Web Services cloud trail logs on INEC’s E-transmission system/IREV portal.
He explained to the court that the “cloud trail log” are obtained from INEC’s account on Amazon Web Services (the cloud platform on which IREV application was hosted by INEC) and it shows the activity of the patches that were deployed on the e-transmission application on AWS to fix the glitches that the electoral umpire alleged to have encountered on its IREV application on election day.
The court admitted the documents while noting the objections raised by Obi’s team.
Under cross-examination by Tinubu and Kashim Shettima’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, the witness said the blurred results downloaded from IREV portal, as alleged by Obi, did not affect physical results recorded in Form EC8A at polling units.
Under cross-examination by lead counsel of the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, the witness maintained that the Form EC8A was the primary source of INEC’s collation of results.
He said if what was downloaded from IREV is not clear, the physical results can also be obtained.
During interrogation by Obi’s lawyer, Bayode said INEC’s e-transmission application was tested before it was deployed and the testing of the e-transmission application was done on 4th of February.
Ikweto then tendered the INEC e-transmission document testing report dated February 22 as evidence and it was admitted as Peter Obi’s exhibits by the court.
Under further questioning from Ikweto, the witness said “the (INEC) e-transmission server was not vulnerable.”
After his testimony, INEC lawyer, Mahmoud, closed his defence in Peter Obi’s petition which seeks nullification of Tinubu’s victory.
Olanipekun told the court that he will open his defence today.
The post INEC closes case in Obi, LP petition appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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