The Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja Nigeria has admitted in exhibit the final report of the European Union Election Observer Mission, which faulted the outcome of the 2023 Presidential election in the country.
The report was on Monday tendered by the former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar and admitted as exhibit despite objections by counsels to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The European Union election observer mission had, in the report claimed that the presidential election did not show credibility and transparency in the ways and manner it was conducted.
The report tendered through INEC’s sole witness who is a Director of Information Technology (IT), Lawrence Bayode said only 31 per cent of the presidential election result was uploaded into INEC’s result viewing portal.
In his evidence-in-chief, Bayode had admitted that the electoral body has no electronic collation system, hence, the Presidential election result is not electronically collated. The INEC witness admitted that the collation of the Presidential election results was done manually by the presiding officers of the electoral body.
Under cross-examination by Atiku Abubakar’s lead Counsel, Chris Uche, the witness admitted that not all the presidential election results were uploaded into the INEC’s results viewing centre as of March 1, 2023, when Tinubu was declared and returned as the winner of the election.
While the witness told the court that there was a technical glitch that affected the uploading of the presidential election results, the witness, however, under cross-examination admitted that such glitch was not reported to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Also, under cross-examination by lead counsel to Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun , the witness told the court that form EC8A formed the basis of the election results adding that data and network service were required for the upload of the images of the results captured by the Biomodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machine.
He further testified that images captured on BVAS, whether transmitted electronically or manually will not affect the integrity of the election, especially when results entered into form EC8As are announced to the hearing and knowledge of party agents.
The INEC Director, while answering another question from Olanipekun said the February 25 presidential election results announced in favour of Tinubu were free, fair, transparent and in substantial compliance with the provisions of the law.
Also under cross-examination by lead counsel to APC Lateef Fagbemi, the witness admitted that glitches were experienced on the election day but however said, that the glitches did not affect the final results and scores of candidates at the election.
With one witness and four documents tendered, INEC closed its defence in the petition filed by the PDP Presidential candidate against the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Meanwhile, President Tinubu has been ordered to open his defence of his victory in the presidential election on Tuesday, June 4, 2023.