Three presiding officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who oversaw the February 25, 2023, general election, testified at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, on Monday, June 19, 2023, that only the presidential election results failed to upload to the INEC Result Viewing Portal, IREV.
The officers were subpoenaed by Abubakar Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Under the guidance of the petitioner’s counsel, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, the witnesses reported that they successfully used the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, machine to transmit the results for the senatorial and House of Representatives elections.
However, they each claimed that they could not use the BVAS to transmit the presidential election results, leading them to voice dissatisfaction with the election process.
The three presiding officers, Janet Turaki, Christopher Ardo, and Victoria Sani, served in Yobe, Bauchi, and Katsina states, respectively.
They concurred that the BVAS machines malfunctioned when it was time to upload the presidential results.
Under cross-examination by INEC counsel Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, Turaki told the court that the voters’ accreditation process was successful and voting proceeded smoothly at her polling unit.
She said that the network became problematic when she attempted to upload the presidential election results after capturing them with the BVAS machine.
Following the failure to upload the results, Turaki reported that she handed over all materials to her ward collation agent and completed a complaint form provided by INEC for such incidents.
Ardo, also under cross-examination, this time by President Bola Tinubu’s counsel, Mr. Wole Olanipekin, SAN, revealed his dissatisfaction with his assignment at INEC on election day.
He attributed this to his inability to transmit the presidential election result as required by law.
In her testimony, Sani told the court, under cross-examination by All Progressives Congress, APC, counsel Mr. Charles Edosanwan, SAN, that she believed she performed her duties as a presiding officer to the best of her ability.
The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned proceedings until Tuesday for the continuation of the hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Atiku and the PDP are challenging the February 25 presidential election results in court.
They argue that one of the grounds of their petition is INEC’s failure to transmit election results to its IREV in real time, as Chairman Mr. Yakubu Mahmood had stated it would before the election.