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Only presidential election results refuse to upload – INEC presiding officers tell court

Three Presiding Officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday told the Presidential Election Petition Court ( PEPC) that the refusal of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to transmit the presidential election results on election day frustrated their jobs.

The Officers admitted that the results of the Senate and the House of Representatives election were transmitted unhindered and that the problems of technical hitches arose at the point of transmitting only the presidential poll results.

Testifying on Subpoena at the ongoing hearing of petitions challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election, the three witnesses admitted that the election process went well until the period the BVAS machines refused to work.

The three witnesses are Janet Nuhu Turaki, Christopher Bulus Ardo and Victoria Sani who served as INEC’S Presiding Officers at Yobe, Bauchi and Katsina States respectively.

They had been summoned by the Court through the joint application of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Abubakar Atiku to appear before it and give accounts of their experiences in relation to results transmission during the last presidential election.

Janet Turaki who first testified in the petition filed by former Vice President Abubakar Atiku against the election said the accreditation of voters was successful but the process became frustrating at the point of uploading of the election results.

She emphasized that while the results of the National Assembly election sailed smoothly, that of the presidential poll failed and refused to work throughout the day.

The witness, however, informed the Court that the collated results in the forms EC8A were signed by the party agents and herself as INEC’s Presiding Officer.

In his evidence, Christopher Bulus Ardo told the court that he felt unfulfilled in his assignment with INEC on the election because he could not transmit the presidential election results as required by law.

In her own, Victoria Sani said she could not remember the candidate that won the presidential poll in Katsina State but insisted that all did not end well due to the inability to transmit the presidential aspect of the February 25 election.

Monday’s proceedings were conducted by Eyitayo Jegede SAN for Abubakar Atiku and PDP as petitioners, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN for INEC, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Charles Edosomwen SAN for the All Progressives Congress APC.

Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has fixed June 20 for the continuation of hearing in the petition.

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