The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said the claims that the 2019 presidential election results were transmitted to a server is, “the greatest lie of the century.”
The electoral umpire made the submission at the resumed hearing of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
They petitioners are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23, 2019, poll.
The commission had earlier denied having a server where the results of the February 23 presidential election were uploaded.
But the petitioners claimed that the results they obtained from the INEC server indicated that Mr Abubakar won the poll with over a million votes.
Through their lawyers led by Levy Uzoukwu, the PDP and Mr Abubakar asked the tribunal to compel INEC to grant them access to the server and smart card readers used in the conduct of the election.
But their application was denied with the tribunal saying it could not grant such until its ruling on whether or not INEC has a server. The Supreme Court agreed with the tribunal.
During the court session on Wednesday, INEC’s lead counsel, Yunus Usman, while adopting his final address, noted that the electoral act prohibits the transmission of results electronically.
The counsel explained that the act only provides for the manual transmission of results.
“We humbly submit that INEC conducted the presidential election on the 23rd day of February 2019 in compliance with the electoral act and the petitioners can never disown that,” he said.
“The issus of transmitting results electronically or through server has been the greatest lie of this century because my lords they say the results transmitted were only Atiku and Buhari whereas about 70 political parties participate in the election.
“The act itself prohibits the transmission of election results electronically. The act and the manual only provide for manual transmission and collation of elections results and that is what they did and that is what their witness admitted under cross-examination.”
He further asked the tribunal led by Mohammed Garba to dismiss the petition which he said was meant to “test waters.”
INEC server is one of the arguments put forward by the PDP in their petition filed before the tribunal on March 28.
The nation’s electoral umpire had declared Mr Buhari winner of the election having scored majority of the votes.
But Mr Abubakar and his party accused INEC of colluding with the ruling party to rig the poll in favour of the APC.
According to Mr Abubakar, his party won the elections with over one million votes from details seen by the petitioners during its investigation.
They also, in their petition, allege electoral irregularities allegedly perpetrated by INEC in support of Mr Buhari and APC.