A digital forensic expert, Mr. Hitler Nwala, who appeared before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, June 22, alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wiped off results of the presidential election that was held on February 25.
Documents showing deletion of results for the February 25 presidential election was admitted as evidence by a five-member panel of justices of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani.
Nwala who was brought in as the 25th witness of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the presidential election, noted that a test done on a sample of 110 BVAS machines showed variations that could be nationwide.
He also revealed that results on the 3,163 BVAS used for the election in the FCT which ought not to have been deleted as there were no governorship elections in the territory, were also deleted.
During cross-examination of the witness, counsel to INEC, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, faulted report of the witness, stressing that 110 BVAS devices used for the election were not sufficient to establish that there was any irregularity on the part of the Commission.
Mahmoud who noted that a total of 3, 263 BVAS devices were deployed during the presidential election, argued that the sample the witness based his report on, represented only about 3.5 percent of the total device the INEC deployed in FCT and 0.06 percent of the total BVAS that was used for the presidential election across the country.
President Bola Tinubu, whose legal team was led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, and APC’s legal team led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, urged the court to reject the report of the witness which they said was laced with manifest errors.
Asides from pointing out that the evidence of the witness is very vital to the case of his clients “considering that it was the first that we had a technologically driven election in this country,” PDP lawyers, Chris Uche (SAN) and Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) also tendered bundles of certified copies of INEC’s Forms EC8A from 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ogun state.
Certified copies of polling unit results (Form EC8A series) from 17 LGAs in Ondo state, 27 LGAs in Jigawa as well as from 20 LGAs in Rivers State were also tendered.
While INEC opposed the admissibility of the documents in evidence, saying it would give its reasons in its final written address, President Tinubu and the APC raised objections to the admittance of the electoral documents in evidence.
Justice Tsammani-led panel accepted the documents in evidence and marked them as Exhibits in the matter.
The case was adjourned till Friday to enable the petitioners close their case, after which the Respondents will open their defence.
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