The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) on Monday admitted evidence showing that an Amazon Web server, which provided cloud services for INEC’s digital backbone for the presidential election, did not suffer any technical glitch on Election Day.
The report, which puts a lie to claims by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it could not upload results of the presidential election because of a tech glitch, was tendered by a witness subpoenaed by the Labour Party (LP), Claretta Ogar, whose was presented as a cloud engineer and employee of Amazon Web Services Incorporated, USA.
The report details the health status of the Amazon Web server that provided cloud services for INEC’s digital backbone for the presidential election.
The tribunal admitted the documents, totalling six copies, amid objections by INEC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Shettima and the All Progressives Congress (APC), who are defendants in the suit.
Cross-examination of the witness is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20, because all the respondents insisted that the contents of the report had just been served on them and were too technical, requiring them to study it to prepare their cross-examination of the witness.
The tribunal conceded to their request, only allowing petitioners to take the evidence in chief of the witness.
Also on Monday, Peter Obi and the Labour Party again called the attention of the Court to what it termed the frustrations encountered in their engagements with INEC to obtain certain documents needed for their case.
Counsel for Obi, Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, told the Court that having applied several times to INEC, the petitioners have only received I-REV reports from a few LGAs in Lagos and Gombe, accusing the commission of delaying proceedings even when they are aware that proceedings are time bound.
In reply to the allegations, counsel for INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, told the Court that the only letter he had received was dated May 15, 2023, which he replied to on same day, and that all subpoenaed witnesses have been brought to testify in Court.
The five-man panel, however, urged the lawyers to put their houses in order.
In the matter between PDP, Atiku and Tinubu, APC and INEC, three Presiding Officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday told the Presidential Election Petition Court ( PEPC) that the refusal of 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 were transmitted unhindered and that the problems of technical hitches arose at the point of transmitting only the presidential poll results.
Testifying on the 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 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 respectfully.
They were summoned by the Court through the joint application of the People’s 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 that the accreditation of voters was successful but that the process became frustrating when uploading 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 the hearing in the petition.