An ad-hoc staff of INEC who served as a Presiding Officer in the February 25, 2023 presidential election has testified that the presidential election results “refused” to be transmitted with the BVAS technology
The witness who was subpoenaed to appear by the PDP and Atiku Abubakar in the ongoing trial of their petition against INEC’s conduct of the presidential election added that he was able to successfully transmit the results of the Senatorial and House of Representatives election which held same day
Identified by the initial EOF, a copy of his appointment letter as INEC presiding officer for Polling Unit 017, Ward 3 in Abia North Local Government Area was tendered before the court and admitted as an exhibit. The witness in his testimony repeatedly stated that he, along with others, were trained on how to transmit results.
According to him, after sorting and counting the votes, he duly entered it into form EC8A which were signed by party agents and the police and later took a snap shot of it, but could not transmit it using the BVAS, and had to deliver it manually to the ward collation centre.
Under cross-examination by the counsel for INEC, he admitted that he was trained on offline transmission as well which involved uploading the image of the result sheet even when there was no network; adding that by the training given them, the process will automatically be completed when there was network in the BVAS device.
Under cross-examination by lawyers for Bola Tinubu and the APC, the witness admitted that
there was no issue in his polling unit and that he was happy with the exercise since the police were present to guard them.
Responding to further questioning, the witness also confirmed that the Labour Party won the election in his polling unit.
The testimony of the subpoenaed witness was earlier delayed after the respondents raised objections on ground that their statements were not front-loaded, leading to a heated argument between the petitioner’s counsel and the respondents counsel.
In resolving the issue, the Justices decided to reserve the ruling till the final judgment, instead of deciding it immediately as earlier planned.
(Editor: Ifeanyi Mark)