The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, of manufacturing results of the last presidential election to prove his case at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The electoral umpire filed its response on Thursday at the tribunal in Abuja. It distanced itself from an electronic sheet that purportedly contained the genuine results of the presidential election.
Mr Abubakar’s legal team submitted the sheet at the tribunal last month, contending it was obtained from an internal compilation of results on INEC’s Internet server.
The team, amongst other submissions, said Mr Abubakar won by more than six million votes, but his victory was allegedly suppressed by the commission in favour of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Abubakar was derided by supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress after the claim became public. Mr Buhari’s campaign also wrote to the police and the State Security Service to launch a criminal investigation against Mr Abubakar. It accused him of maliciously accessing INEC’s files.
The umpire said it, “does not share information with such an unclassified entity and any information purportedly derived therefrom which does not accord with the result as declared by INEC is not authentic but rather was invented for the purpose” of the tribunal, according to excerpts of the filings seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
In the 291-page response, INEC said it did not transmit results via electronic channels, but used manual collation as stipulated by law. It, however, did not say whether it collated results from across the country and compiled them on an Internet-enabled computer.
“INEC specifically denies the existence of electronic transmission of results and it is unknown to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended),” it said.
Mr Buhari was declared winner of the polls with about 3.9 million votes. He will be sworn in for a second term on May 29.