By Martins Odeh
The Channels Television video of INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud admitted by the presidential tribunal on Tuesday appeared to discredit allegation that results of the Feb.23 general election were transmitted to the commission’s central server.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election alleged in their petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election that results were transmitted to central server managed by INEC.
Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners had on July 15 led a star witness, Mr Segun Showunmi to tender 48 Compact Discs evidence to substantial their claims.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that four of the video clips were played in the court hall including that of the “Count Down of Osun Decides’’, a production of Channels Television with Seun Akinboloye as host.
Another was Channel Television production dated Feb.8, where Mr Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom talked about the readiness of the electoral body to transmit the Feb.23 general election electronically.
Similarly, another Channel Television video clip of INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud was equally admitted tendered and admitted by the tribunal.
NAN reports that Mahmud had in the news video clip played host to some Data experts where he sought their cooperation in ensuring the commission delivered a free and fair election through acceptable technology.
The INEC boss had in that clip expressed wish to work within the law to transmit the results of the general election electronically.
However, Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, spotted pit hole in the clip and Showunmi’s testimony during cross examination.
Usman had explained that the witness only brought sets of videos that told a one-sided story.
He made the witness to confirm that the commission never came up with an official briefing to tell the public that results of the election would indeed be transmitted to a central server.
On his part, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, specifically accused Showunmi to have left out a video from a Channel Television where the INEC boss stated results of the 2019 general election would be transmitted electronically to a central server.
It was on the strength of Izinyon’s submission that the tribunal adjourned mid-way on July 15 to allow the second respondent (Buhari) to tender the Feb.6 interview of Mahmud on the subject matter.
NAN reports that the video was eventually admitted and played for the five-man justices chaired by Justice Mohammed Garba and other parties to watch.
In that video, the INEC boss listed communication and security challenges as two major reasons why results from the 2019 general election would not be transmitted electronically.
Subsequently, the petitioners continued with the presentation of their witnesses to testify.
NAN reports that Amb. Magadiel Samaki, Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu, both from Adamawa State, gave evidence to buttress Atiku’s Nigerian nationality.
Both of them claimed the former Vice President was born on Nov.25, 1946 and hailed from Jada in Adamawa province of Northern Nigeria.
They said the allegation that he (Atiku) hailed from Cameroon was laughable.
Those who stepped out to testify for the petitioners also included Likita Ali, Temoku Ajaraogwu and Abubakar Sadiq, all from Nasarawa State.
They had alleged various malpractices perpetrated by the APC, but were unable to provide proof as to how those infractions were committed.
The three of them, who were Local Government Area Collation Agents and Ward Collation Agents for the PDP agreed to have signed the result sheets at both the ward and local government levels.