Godwin Tsa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday played a video clip at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal showing the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressing reservations on the possibility of deploying electronic transmission of results for the 2019 general elections.
The video is to counter the evidence of the petitioners on the existence of INEC server.
In the video played by his legal team, Yakubu appeared in a “one-on-one interview with INEC Chairman” shown on Channels Television on February 6, stating the problems of communication, poor coverage of 2G, 3G, 4G networks in the country, let alone 5G that was yet to be available in Nigeria, and the issues of cybersecurity, as militating against the possibility of deployment of electronic transmission of results during the election.
The INEC chairman was seen as saying in the clip that 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.”
The petitioners – the People’s Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar – opposed the admissibility of the VCD as an exhibit.
But the five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba asked their lawyer 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.
The petitioners had on Monday played four video clips to support their claims on the existence of INEC server.
The four video clips played at the Monday’s proceedings included an interview which a Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, granted on Sunday Politics programme on Channels Television.
Igini said in the interview the results of the 2019 general elections would be electronically transmitted to the commission’s server.
Another one showed army officials on Channels TV denying Buhari’s claim that his West African School Certificate was with the Army.
The third one showed INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Channels TV meeting members of Computer Professionals and Practitioners in Nigeria, where he expressed hope that the results of the 2019 general elections would be electronically transmitted.
Yakubu was seen saying in the clip that the INEC was ready to partner the computer professionals in the deployment of Information Technology Communication for the 2019 general elections as might be allowed “within the law.”