Claims by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that he won the February 23 presidential election with 18,356,732 votes are nothing short of an invention, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared.
The Commission also says it never transmitted results of the presidential election through any server and any figures purportedly obtained thereof are fake.
It disowns the website, factsdontlie.com, which Atiku alleged before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as the source of the election results he claimed to have won.
Responding to Atiku’s petition point by point, the commission said that contrary to the claim by the PDP and Abubakar, it owns no server and never transmitted any results through electronic server.
In the counterclaims seen yesterday by The Nation, INEC said “With particular response to the issue of server and electronic transmission and collation repeatedly referred to by the petitioners, as at date, there is no legal framework in place for electronic voting, transmission and collation of scores or results of the electioneering process.
“The Smart Card Reader till date was used for authenticating registered voters not for sorting, counting, transmission or collation as these processes are still manually done, given the state of the law.
“The 1st respondent (INEC) has no server that contains the purported results the petitioners are claiming they got from a purported server.
“In spite of the scheme at the time, counting, sorting, transmission and collation of votes during the 2019 general elections and the presidential election in particular were all done manually and not electronically.
“The purported figure of 37,668,305 being bandied by the petitioners as the actual number of accredited voters is unknown to the 1st respondent and never existed in its record.”
It specifically denied the existence of electronic transmission of results as it is unknown to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of the elections 2019.
INEC faulted the petitioners’ claim that the results of the election were transmitted electronically.
In a witness statement attached to the INEC claims, the commission’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Chidi Nwafor denied all the petitioners’ claim about a server and branded it as false “as I know as a fact that the 2nd respondent (President Muhammadu Buhari) was duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the presidential election and scored at least one-quarter of the lawful votes cast at the election in 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, more than two-third of all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.”
Witness added:”The petitioners did not win the majority of the lawful votes cast and did not satisfy the mandatory constitutional requirement to be declared winner having polled 11,262,978 and one quarter of all lawful votes cast in 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as against the 2nd respondent who scored 15,191,847 votes cast and one quarter of the lawful votes cast in 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The lawful and recognised computation of results is manually done using Electoral Form EC8 series and not the table pleaded by the petitioners given that the said table is not the result collated and declared by the 1st respondent.
“I know as a fact that the details contained in the table in the paragraph 22 of the petition are inaccurate.
“I know that mode of transmitting/collating election results is manual, using Forms EC8As, EC8Bs, EC8Cs and EC8Ds and not electronically done.
“I know that the Manual Technologies 2019 and demonstration videos referred to in paragraph 27 are internal training materials.”
The commission also said: “Further to the foregoing, the website described as www.factsdontlieng.com was neither created nor owned by the 1st Respondent (INEC). It is a site not known to the 1st Respondent.
“The 1st Respondent does not share information with such an unclassified entity and any information purportedly derived there from which does not accord with the result as declared by the 1st Respondent is not authentic but rather was invented for the purpose of this case.”
INEC ‘satisfied’ by Buhari’s academic qualification
The Commission also said it is satisfied with the academic documents submitted by Buhari for the purpose of the election
Atiku is claiming in his petition that one of the schools Buhari claimed to have attended could not be traced and that Buhari claimed to hold a certificate that was not in existence at the time he claimed to have obtained it.
But INEC said it had no query over Buhari’s academic documents.
The Commission said it was “satisfied with the educational qualification presented” by the president to run for the election.
INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Ustaz (SAN) brands Atiku’s petition as frivolous, incompetent and/or lacking in merit.
He prays the tribunal to dismiss the petition.
It plans to call 83 witnesses in its defence.