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INEC Makes U-turn, Admits Ownership of Server

INEC makes U-turn, admits ownership of server

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday, 17th June, 2019 admitted ownership of a sever,
maintaining however, that the results of the 2019 general elections were not transmitted electronically
to its server but that the Commission only experimented the technology during some staggered
elections held in 2018.

The Commission said that the clarification was necessary because of rising controversies on the
transmission of 2019 Presidential Election results from states to the INEC server.

At the resumed sitting of the Presidential Election tribunal last week, the Peoples’ Democratic Party
(PDP) and its candidate in the presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had prayed the tribunal to
give it permission to inspect other electronic gadgets used by INEC in February 23 election.

In their petition before the tribunal, the PDP and Atiku are claiming that they won the presidential
election based on results fed into INEC’s server.

However, speaking during the Post Election Retreat organised by the Commission for its staff and ad hoc
staff engaged for the last general elections in Osun State, INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi,
said many factors forced the Commission to drop the idea of electronic transmission of the results to a
central server.

Soyebi said INEC experimented with electronic transmission of results during Anambra, Sokoto and Osun
elections held before 2019 elections but the Commission did not sustain the use of the technology
during the 2019 general elections.

He said the late release of INEC’S budget for the 2019 elections and controversies over the Electoral Act,
among others reasons, forced the Commission to jettison the idea of using the technology to transmit
results to the central server.

“We piloted the use of transmission of election results electronically in Sokoto, in Anambra, even in
Osun. What happened was that we were trying to pilot to see the desirability of such technology in our
electoral process.

“First, our budget came out very late, there was also issue (with) the Electoral Act.

For these and some
other reasons, the Commission did not adopt that option. 2019 elections were conducted according to
Law.

“We used the Constitution of the Federal Republic; we used the Electoral Act and our guidelines for
2019 elections. If you look at the three instruments carefully, the issue of server was not highlighted.

“Once in a while, you will see an experiment going on but we have to pilot it before we will deploy
wholesale for election. We did not use it because of circumstances beyond the control of the
Commission,” Soyebi said.

Meanwhile, the call for the resignation of the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has heightened.


Yesterday, the Concerned Nigerians Group said Yakubu should honourably resign, as the final report of
the European Union(EU) EOM which was made public over the weekend was an indictment on INEC’s
incompetence in handling the 2019 general elections.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday on behalf of the group, Mr. Dare Ariyo, said the Chairman of
the electoral umpire has no moral right to remain in the office having been indicted by the report of the
EU.

Ariyo said: “Since INEC has denied that they have no server in the court of lied on oath and we must
know. That is why I also support the fact that the INEC Chairman should step aside to allow thorough
investigation and we believe if the executive is not willing to do that, we are calling on national assembly
who approved the budget to demand the INEC chairman to step down.”

“The Concerned Nigerians Group is particularly satisfied with the ‘audacious and grand’ final report of the EU EOM which was made public over the weekend and contained 30 recommendations to improve
future electoral processes.

The EU EOM has done a good job and we laud its positive impacts on our
elections.

“We believe that the reports by EU EOM, other partners, and our own recommendations should provide
sufficient information to guide the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in developing a
far-reaching framework for fundamental electoral reforms.”

He said the controversy over INEC server has lingered for so long in the public space and is gradually
eroding the confidence of Nigerians in the electoral body as an institution that has sincerity of purpose
in conducting free, fair and credible elections.

Also speaking, a human right activist, Deji Adeyanju, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to
expedite action and sign the electoral act into law to ensuring credibility and transparency of the
electoral process.

The European Union Election Observation Mission on Friday released its report on the just concluded
general elections where the flaws and shortcomings of the process were highlighted.

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