The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday denied imputing the results of the February 23 Presidential election into an electronic server as claimed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its Presidential candidate at the last elections, Atiku Abubakar.
It insisted that it had no such server and as such the PDP cannot inspect what is not in existence.
The commission made the claim at the hearing of the motion filed by Atiku and the PDP to inspect its server which they claimed would show that the PDP candidate won the last presidential election.
Recall that Atiku and the PDP are challenging the declaration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, as winners of the February 23, Presidential election.
INEC had declared that Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to beat Atiku who scored 11,262,978 votes to the second place.
The petitioners, are however, claiming that data, which they obtained from INEC’s server, showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, whom they insist scored 16,741,430 votes.
Moving the petitioners’ motion on Thursday, Chris Uche, SAN, prayed the tribunal to grant their application in the interest of justice, arguing that it was necessary for his team in order to maintain the petition.
“The application in summary asks for access to and inspection of the server of the INEC and the smart card readers used in the conduct of the presidential election.
“We have addressed the issues in our counter-affidavit, written address and reply on points of law and we urge your lordships that the application be granted as prayed in the interest of justice, transparency and neutrality.
“The application is necessary for the maintenance of this petition,” he submitted.
However, the respondents through their various counsel, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petitioners’ request.
INEC’s counsel, Mr. Yunus Usman, SAN, told the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel that the petitioners were asking the commission to produce what it did not have.
“We attached as Exhibit 1, the enrolled order of this honourable court made on May 6, 2019 refusing all the prayers of the petitioners in this application.
“They said we should bring what we don’t have.“My Lord, the commission did not deploy such technology infrastructure in the last general election,’’ he said.
He added that the Court of Appeal having earlier refused similar application, same should not be granted again.
Wole Olanipekun, counsel to Buhari, in his submission, described the petitioners’ application as laughable, saying that the Court of Appeal in Abuja had ruled against similar application brought to it by the same parties.
“We also wanted such information if the technology was used, but our application demanding access to the server was dismissed. We have attached the enrolled order in our reply,’’ the lawyer said.