Exclusive: Why We Didn’t Use Server – INEC
By Olamide Fadoju
President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the electoral reform bill has been faulted for INEC’s failure to have a server during the 2019 general elections
INEC’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education Oluwole Uzzi said this in an interview with Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri on Nigeria Info 99.3 FM programme, Morning Crossfire.
According to him, although the National Assembly had passed the law that would have necessitated a server, the lack of presidential assent made it ineffective.
“The National assembly had passed the electoral amendment bill and part of it says that results should be transmitted electronically, but all Nigerians know that the bill was not assented to by the president, so it never became law”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had alleged that data from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) server indicated that their candidate, Atiku Abubakar won the election by 1,615,302 votes but INEC has consistently denied using any server during the elections.
Also, there was a recording that made rounds on social media of an INEC official explaining how INEC was going to use a server during the elections
However, Mr. Uzzi defended the video saying that INEC had prepared for eventualities.
“In our expectations we made preparations, we didn’t want to be caught unawares. We had to be ready to implement the law at is at the time of the election.
“We said if this is going to be law we have to do certain things so we started to work on it that this is what we will do. Up to the days before the election, we thought it will become law.
“But when it was evident it was not going to become law we had to refer to what the law says and the law does not recognize electronic transmission of results.”
Last week, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s election on the 23rd of February. It rejected the petitions filed by PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar which among other things claimed that President Buhari was not qualified to contest and did not get the total votes cast.