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As a way of insisting on their earlier claims of having accessed true results of the 2019 presidential elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have filed an application at the ongoing presidential election tribunal for access to information contained in the smart card readers and “central server” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Recall that both Atiku and his party, the PDP are challenging the outcome of the February 23, 2019 presidential election which saw the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Upon INEC had insisted that the results of the election were manually collated and never transmitted electronically, through their lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), Atiku and PDP went ahead to file their application before the tribunal.
Atiku and PDP in their latest application averred that INEC kept “central servers” in which “information was recorded and stored in database packets relating to accreditation of voters and transmission of results from the presidential election”.
Accordingly, they are seeking the permission of the Tribunal inspect the central servers and the card readers used for the conduct of the poll, to deploy digital technology in examining and analysing the information obtained from them as part of build up for their case.
Additional prayers of the PDP and Atiku include for the tribunal’s permission to be allowed to file a report of their inspection, examination and analysis of the content of the facilities.
Other contents of their written address filed in support of the application read in part, “This motion is brought pursuant to Section 151 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Section 71 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Paragraphs 18 (7) (e), 41 (5) and (6), 47 (2) & 54 of the First Schedule to Electoral Act, 2010, (as amended), Section 6 (6) (b) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and under the Inherent Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.
“The motion prays for the following orders as expressed on the face of the motion paper, namely:
“An order allowing access or a court-supervised access and inspection by the Petitioners, in the presence of the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Buhari and APC) if they so desire, of the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) central servers wherein information was recorded and stored in database packets relating to accreditation of voters and transmission of results from the Presidential election, the subject-matter of this petition.
“An order directing the 1st respondent’s Chief National Electoral Commissioner and/or other officers to grant the petitioners access to the said database packets in the 1st respondent’s central servers.
“An order granting leave to the petitioners to inspect and obtain certified true copies of Smart Card Reader accreditation data from the Smart Card Readers used in the said election and stored in the 1st respondent’s servers.
“An order granting leave to the petitioners to file a report of the inspection, examination and analysis thereof at the trial.”
The application of Atiku and PDP was backed up on 13 grounds.
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