Following a new twist to the Election Petition Tribunal Case involving presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that of the People’s Democratic Candidate (PDP); Muhammdu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar respectively – in which the Independent Electoral Commission INEC denied having a server – controversy has ensued since the June 14 claim by the electoral body.
The Tribunal was forced to reverse the ruling in the suit filed by the PDP and its Candidate requesting to be given access to INEC’s server. This was after counsel to INEC, Mr Yunus Usman had asked the tribunal to refuse the request of the petitioners, declaring that INCE had no server with respect to the 2019 presidential election.
“The PDP said we should bring something we don’t have,” Usman told the court.
While PDP supporter has raised many questions to the electoral body, insisting that a server must exist having promised that in the lead up to the elections, several mouthpieces of INEC – most of whom are APC supporters – have also try to defend what many may tag “the indefensible”
But is this really a case of the indefensible?
We look at some vital questions raised from the PDP’s point of view and why they have no case.
Does INEC Have Server?
There has been a new twist to this question – which is probably the most important question raised in the thick of the argument. A new school of thought on this actually explains it in a way that INEC doesn’t actually deny not having any server but not having the particular server Atiku and the PDP are asking for.
This is actually an important point as Atiku’s argument is based on the February 2019 presidential election. So it is possible there are other servers; for previous elections, unused serves and generally, INEC’s database, but technically INEC can prove it does not have a server with respect to the one Atiku seeks.
Which server is Atiku accused of Hacking?
While it is true that spokesman of the Buhari Campaign, Mr Festus Keyamo had in March petitioned the DSS over Atiku’s alleged hacking into INEC’s server, it, however, does not in any way prove that INEC has “the server”.
Details of the petition revealed that Mr Keyamo had only asked the secret police to investigate Atiku for allegedly hacking into whatever database existed in INEC in a bid to smuggle in results he would later claim was the authentic results and would confirm if given access to the back-end.
Keyamo was quoted as saying in the petition that the PDP had prepared a result – which leaked a day before the original election that that was postponed- which it planned to smuggle into the INEC server.
he explained that in the following tweets
Was there any money budgeted for a server?
It is true that money (over N2 billion naira) for the procurement and upgrade of servers was approved for INEC by the National Assembly and it has had a longterm plan favouring the electronic storage of electoral results, but what is not true is that the server functioned (which will be explained in the next question)
Were Results Transmitted Electronically To The Server During the February General elections?
This is a very import question also raised in this argument. Many have argued that INEC promised to transmit results, many have also stated that INEC indeed transmitted results.
To prove whether or not INEC transmitted result is what Atiku would have to convince the court with empirical evidence and as you guessed right, he will be needing a lot of witnesses to do that.
For now, let’s focus on what INEC promised.
INEC in the lead up of the 2019 elections did actually promise to transmit results.
#FindINECServer Still on INEC denial of a Central Server. On the eve of the last guber election in Osun State, Olusegun Agbaje, @inecnigeria REC told the World on @ChannelsTV that the commission has a Central Server. Watch…Together, let’s #RescueNigeria @UN @USEmbassyAbuja pic.twitter.com/RdlIKsDVPj
— ibu thomas🇳🇬 (@Hailfinger1) June 14, 2019
But the electoral body later announced it had jettisoned the idea of transmitting results electronically.
First the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu stated two reasons for this:
There’s no law backing it (recall that president Muhammadu Buhari refused vehemently to sign the reformed electoral bill into law – that would have given this the required backing)
INEC boss admitted there were some technological obstacles to successfully transmitting results to the central server – which culminates to the fact that telecoms companies had some places in the country their Internet facilities did not cover.
Fully agree with you pic.twitter.com/UMrGBCWIxJ
— yomi (@Yomi_a_b) April 25, 2019
In conclusion, The APC and INEC anticipated all of these and were very clever about it. They simply tightened all loose ends -which began at the moment Buhari failed to sign the amended electoral bill into law- and sorry to rain on your parade, Atiku and PDP supporter, the “server” case is dead on arrival.