Buhari’s lawyer plays video on INEC’s stand on electronic transmission of election results

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Ime Akpan

The legal team of president Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday played a video clip at the five-man Presidential Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba.

The video showed the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu expressing fears about the possibility of transmitting election results electronically.

In the short clip aired on a Channels Television interview on February 6, 2019, Yakubu cited the problems of communication, poor coverage of 2G, 3G, 4G networks in the country, 5G that was yet to be available in Nigeria and the issues of cyber security as some of the factors militating against the possibility of electronic transmission of results during the election.

In the interview, Yakubu said the discussion with network providers was ongoing, but added: “We still need to do a lot more before we can use the technology of transmitting the results of election.”

Under cross-examination by Buhari’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon, the petitioners’ 40th witness, Mr. Segun Showunmi, through whom the petitioners tendered 48 VCDs, on Monday, confirmed that Channels TV‘s logo appeared on the three-minute-long clip.

He also confirmed that the person interviewed “looked like the INEC chairman” besides confirming that he knows the interviewer, Mr. Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television.

But the petitioners, Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, opposed the admissibility of the VCD as an exhibit.

However, the five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba asked their counsel to reserve his objection till the final address stage.

The tribunal admitted the exhibit as P85 and the certificate of compliance accompanying it as Exhibit P86.

It would be recalled that the tribunal had on Monday admitted 48 videos presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, to prove the existence of a server which was used for the presidential election.

The clips, which were produced by Showunmi, were to back some allegations raised in their petition challenging the outcome of election

Three of the video clips played included an interview which the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, said in an interview on Sunday Politics programme of Channels Television that the results of the election would be transmitted to the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The PDP and Atiku are challenging the victory of Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the presidential poll.

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