The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reiterated its stance that it does not have any electronic server where the result of the 2019 presidential election was stored, contrary to claims made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Yunus Usman, lead counsel to INEC, said this at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Thursday.
Atiku and the PDP, who are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election, had filed a petition before the tribunal on May 18, asking INEC to grant them access to the electronic server used for the election.
The petitioners claimed that the server was manipulated to input results in favour of the president and the APC
The electoral umpire had, however, in an earlier reply on April 10, denied the existence of such a server.
Reiterating its position before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel, INEC through Usman, noted that the request of Atiku and the PDP indicated that it should produce what does not exist. on May 6.
INEC, alongside the APC and President Buhari, reminded the tribunal that the Court of Appeal had dismissed a similar application filed by the petitioners.
Usman said: “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.”
Usman, counsel to President Buhari, Wole Olanipekun (SAN); and counsel to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, urged the court to strike out the PDP’s petition.
The tribunal reserved ruling on the petitioners’ application.
INEC had declared President Buhari and the APC the winner of the February 23 presidential election.
It said Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.
But Atiku and the PDP, in their petition filed on March 18 to challenge the outcome of the polls, contended that “from the data” obtained from INEC’s server, “the true, actual and correct results” showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.