Almost 13 Presiding Officers,PO, from Borno and Yobe states have stated at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, Abuja that the election results of the Presidential poll in the polling units and wards where they served was transmitted electronically to the official server of the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), during the Presidential poll held across the nation on February 23.
The Presiding Officers who revealed this statement under Oath as witnesses in support of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC),
They disclosed that the electoral body had given them a clear instructions on how the results will be transmitted to its server while training them before the election.
This revelation by the Presiding Officers is a direct contradiction to the statement by the electoral umpire, who had earlier disclosed in its official reply to the petition that results of the presidential poll were not sent to its server or transmitted electronically.
The PDP candidate in a 139- page petition before the Presidential Election Tribunal had disclosed that the electoral body’s server has the true and correct result showing clearly that he accumulated 18,356,732 votes to emerge winner while Buhari scored 16,741,430 votes.
But the electoral umpire insist that the 2019 election results were not transmitted electronically into its official server.
A Presiding Officer while testifying at the tribunal revealed that “I was employed as an ad hoc staff and trained for three days by the 1st Respondent at the Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State to serve as a Presiding Officer (PO) at Waliri Polling Unit with Code 003, of Shehun Barna Ward, Borno State on the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections.
“The training covered the duties of all 1st Respondent’s ad-hoc staff at the polling units and the procedure for the conduct of election which includes accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of results as well as the use of Smart Card Reader (SCR), amongst others.
“At the 1st Respondent training, we were specifically instructed that the use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of results is mandatory and that any election conducted without the use of the Smart Card Reader would be invalid.
“I took part in the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) elections of 23rd February, 2019 where I served as the Presiding Officer (PO) and I ensured the use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation, verification, authentication, collation and transmission of votes in my polling unit.
“At the end of voting, the information on the Smart Card Reader with the results inclusive, were collated by me in the presence of the party agents and other ad-hoc staff of the 1st Respondent after which my Assistant Presiding Officer (AP0-1) transmitted the result electronically in my presence to the 1st Respondent’s server, using the Smart Card Reader (SCR) and the code provided by the 1st Respondent.”