16 June 2019

Nigeria: What INEC Said in 2017 About Having a Central Database for 2019 Election Results

Photo: This Day
(file photo).

About four months after President Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner of the 2019 presidential election, controversy continues to trail the election process.

Mr Buhari was declared the winner of the February 23, 2019, general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) having scored highest votes of 15,191,847 to defeat his closest rival, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 11,262,978 votes.

Mr Abubakar and his party rejected the results saying they were manipulated. They argued that the results being announced do not tally with what the party collated across the country.

The opposition candidate also claimed that results from INEC's computer database or 'server' did not tally with what the electoral commission announced. He presented some results which he claimed were from INEC's server and showed that he won the election. He told the tribunal that he would engage experts from Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to verify his claim.

However, in its defence on June 13, INEC told the election tribunal that it had no central server where results were uploaded.

The commission's lawyer, Yunus Usman, in a counter affidavit responding to Mr Abubakar's plea, asking the tribunal to compel INEC to grant them access to the server and smart card readers used in the conduct of the election, said INEC did not have any server.

"They are asking us to bring something we do not have," Mr Usman said.

Without going into the merit of whether or not INEC has a server, PREMIUM TIMES reproduces a 2017 story where INEC told Nigerian's that the 2019 election results would be stored in a central server.

"INEC has therefore decided to securely transmit results from all polling units to central database such that only viewing access is allowed at the wards and local government levels - which ultimately eliminates manual collation processes," INEC's Director of Information and Communication Technology, Chidi Nwafor, said then.

Read the full 2017 story here.

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