*Urges agencies to investigate PDP leaders
*Insists PDP’s evidence at the Tribunal were forged
* Our evidence is overwhelming, PDP insists
By Myke Uzendu, Chuks-Oyema Aziken and Daniel Tyokua
Issues on the Presidential Election results took a new twist as the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Team yesterday accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of illegally accessing the computer server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), Barr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), in a petition sent to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), accused the PDP of tampering with the server to post fake presidential election results which formed the core evidence of the party’s petition at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
The alleged results of the presidential election posted on the INEC server were the cardinal evidence adduced by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the petition against the re-election of President Buhari.
Based on the votes PDP claimed it got from the INEC’s server, Atiku won the February 23 Presidential Election and not Buhari, as was declared by the electoral umpire.
Expectedly, Keyamo in the petition addressed to the IGP and the DG-SSS, urged them to interrogate the leadership of the PDP to explain how they obtained the so-called evidence purportedly from the INEC server.
He said that even before the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16th, Atiku and the PDP had a prepared result of the said election floating in the cyber space, adding that “the fake results had details of the scores of candidates of the major parties”, which gave victory to the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, even when elections had not held.
Keyamo’s petition read in part: “It would be recalled that an Electoral (Amendment) Bill containing the provision for electronic transmission of results to INEC’s central computer system (otherwise called “server”) was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the National Assembly for assent late in the year 2018.
“Despite the shortness of time before the Presidential/National Assembly Elections, and the lack of time to first simulate the process to ensure its effectiveness in a country like ours with problems of effective networks in many rural areas and constant failure of technological devices, together with its violation of the time frame of such laws as provided for in regional and continental Protocols in terms of the length of time required for the passage of such laws before any major election, the leadership of the PDP was hell-bent that the President should sign the Bill into law.
“That was the first indication that the main opposition was up to something sinister regarding the electronic transmission of the results.
“Upon the last-minute postponement of the February 16, 2019 Presidential/National Assembly Elections, the nation was shocked to see already prepared presidential elections results floating around in the cyber space just less than 24 hours after the postponed election was originally billed to hold!
“The fake results had details of the scores of the candidates of the major parties. Of course, the fake results gave victory to the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, even when elections did not hold.
“The only conclusion one can draw from the above is that the PDP had prepared those results which were to be smuggled into the INEC Server. However, the sudden postponement of the election scuttled that evil plan, but it was too late to restrain the release of the fake results”.
He added that despite describing “the postponed elections as credible by nearly all local and international observers (except some few known PDP acolytes masquerading as local observers), the PDP cried foul and made a shocking claim, that the purported results it obtained from INEC’s server, gave its candidate a margin of 1.6million votes.
“Shockingly and coincidentally, this margin was about the same margin by which it also purportedly “won” by the fake results released just hours after the postponement of the February 16, 2019 Presidential/National Assembly Elections.
“As if this expensive joke was not enough, the PDP and its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have gone ahead to file an Election Petition against the clear victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and have repeated the same outlandish claim of having access to INEC’s server which shows that they have some purported results at their disposal giving “victory” to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“Sirs, we wish you to note that INEC’s server is the back end of electronic records of INEC. This is not INEC’s website but its server!
“Although, the purported results have been conclusively shown by public engagements to be false and even ridiculous, especially as the total number of accredited voters is exactly equivalent to the purported votes of the APC and PDP candidates, this criminal claim of the PDP has revealed that some criminally-minded PDP operatives have access to the INEC server to be able to smuggle in fake results into that server.
“The only means by which they could have access to the INEC server is by the criminal hacking of the server or through the criminal conspiracy of some INEC officials”.
He therefore urged the IGP and the DG-SSS to investigate “the hacking of and/or illegal tampering with the INEC server by the PDP”, adding that “the leadership of the PDP must be invited, interrogated and investigated and those identified as perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted”.
*Our evidence is overwhelming, PDP insists
Meanwhile, the PDP insisted that President Buhari and the APC were overwhelmed by its evidence and therefore embarked on “unnecessary fabrications and smear campaign”
In a response by the party’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbodinyan, the opposition party asked the APC to halt all subterfuge “and prepare to face its legal team at the Presidential Election Tribunal”.
The party insisted that President Buhari “is overweighed by the burden of illegitimacy, following overwhelming evidence before the tribunal that he stole the Presidential mandate, hence this lame attempt at blackmailing the tribunal by engaging in clear acts of subjudice.
“The PDP states that the facts and issues touching on the INEC server are already within the public domain and Nigerians are already at home with them.
“By resorting to shadow-boxing outside the tribunal, President Buhari and the APC have shown that they have no defence to present to the court against PDP’s submission that they stole our mandate.
“It is even more appalling that Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a member of Buhari’s legal team, who should know better, would engage in this act of subjudice designed to distort facts already known to Nigerians, that our Presidential Candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, clearly won the February 23 Presidential election”.
PDP counseled the APC to save the nation further stress by surrendering the mandate, insisting it was freely given by majority of Nigerians to Atiku Abubakar.