Adejuyitan Olalekan, a lecturer who served as a Presiding Officer during the 2019 presidential election, has insisted that the result of the election was transmitted via a server, contrary to the claims of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Olalekan made the revelation on Monday while standing as the third witness for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.
Atiku and the PDP approached the tribunal to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election.
The petitioners maintained that INEC transmitted the result of the election electronically via a server and that the result on the server is different from that proclaimed by INEC.
The electoral body has, however, denied the claim of Atiku and the PDP.
Led in evidence by Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), counsel to the petitioners, Olalekan adopted his witness statement before the court. He, however, did not mention the polling unit that he worked at during the polls.
The witness, when cross-examined by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), President Buhari’s lawyer, insisted that he transmitted the result to the INEC server via a code.
He said: “I did it myself as the Presiding Officer. I transmitted through the code provided by INEC.”
But asked by Yunus Usman (SAN), INEC’s lawyer, to provide the name and number of the server, Olalekan said he did not the details.
When questioned by Akin Olujinmi (SAN), APC’s counsel, about the veracity of his claim, Olalekan, a lecturer at African Community of Inquiry College of Education, Enugu State, maintained that he transmitted the result via a code as given to him by INEC.
He said: “Without the code, you cannot make any transmission of results.”
But asked if he attached the code with which he claimed to have transmitted the collated results to his witness statement on oath, he said he did not but had it on his phone.
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Meanwhile, Peter Uzioma Obi, an Information Technology expert engaged by INEC during the elections, said it is was inaccurate to state that the results were not electronically transmitted.
Obi, who served as Registration Area Technician at a ward level in Rivers State during the election, provided the rebuttal to INEC’s claim while providing evidence as the second witness of the petitioners at the tribunal on Monday.
Responding to a question from Usman about the legality of his claim, Obi said, “You are wrong, sir. INEC trained us to transmit results. I was not a presiding officer. I was not a polling agent. I was a registration area technician appointed by INEC. I was trained by INEC.”
Asked by Olanipekun about his knowledge of the guidelines of the election, Obi said he did not know the guidelines for the election.
He, however, averred that a specific guidelines booklet was issued for his role as a RATECH.
He said: “I was a RATECH in charge of the use of card reader,” he said.
Obi also said he was not aware of Olanipekun’s claim that there was no designation in the INEC’s guidelines as Registration Area Technician.
He also refuted the claim made by Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the APC, that he acted on his own accord.
“I have a letter to show that I was shortlisted”, he said.