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INEC’s Defense on Labour Party’s Petition Concluded

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Abuja

Touchaheart Nigeria reports that the Independent National Electotal Commission (INEC) closes defense in petition filed by Peter Obi and Labour Party (LP).

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) witnessed the conclusion of the defense presented by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) on the 4th of July, 2023.

Abubakar Mahmoud, the lawyer representing INEC, officially announced the completion of the case on behalf of the first respondent after the testimony provided by their sole witness, Dr. Lawrence Bayode, who holds the position of Deputy Director in INEC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department.

INEC submitted several documents as evidence in preparation for the witness testimony, which were duly accepted by the court.

Dr. Lawrence Bayode, the witness, shared that he had served at INEC for 24 years while providing his testimony in court.

During the cross-examination led by Patrick Ikwueto, the counsel representing the petitioners, Dr. Bayode revealed that the software application used in the election underwent testing on February 4. Although a report regarding the testing existed, he did not possess it at the court.

The petitioners, however, presented the E-transmission saver Web and compliance form through Dr. Bayode, which the court admitted as evidence.

Dr. Bayode informed the court that the pre-production test was conducted before the election took place.

When questioned about potential differences between the printed copies of the results and those stored in the IreV system (presumably a system or database), Dr. Bayode stated that there would be no disparities.

However, he acknowledged the possibility of discrepancies arising during the transmission of results from form EC8A to the IreV system.

Dr. Bayode confirmed that performance, functionality, and vulnerability tests were conducted before the election.

He agreed with Ikwueto’s assertion that remediation measures needed to be implemented to address the high vulnerability mentioned in the e-Transmission application report.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Regarding the website where INEC posts its information, Dr. Bayode claimed to be unaware of its location.

During the cross-examination led by Wole Olanipekun, the counsel for Tinubu and Shettima, Dr. Bayode affirmed that the EC8A and EC8E forms served as the basis and provided authenticity for any election conducted by INEC.

Dr. Bayode also stated that if downloaded documents from INEC’s IreV system were blurry, it would not affect the actual results captured in form EC8A, as the image was irrelevant.

He emphasized that the election concluded through the processes of recording, capturing, and transmitting the results to INEC’s IreV system.

Responding to Lateef Fagbemi, the counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Bayode clarified that the final election results were computed using the physical results.

He confirmed that the technical issues experienced on the election day did not impact the collation of the results.

Dr. Bayode further mentioned that if the downloaded results from IreV were unclear, reference could be made to the physical results.

He also informed the court that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) monitored the election, but he did not possess their report.

Dr. Bayode claimed that Amazon Web Services (AWS) provided access to INEC’s cloud trial log account.

See also: Details of court proceedings between m. Peter Obi & INEC/Tinubu

He further explained that this access demonstrated the application of patches to the E-transmission programs on AWS, which were employed to resolve the issues encountered on the election day.

Abubakar Mahmoud officially announced the closure of INEC’s defense in the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party after the testimony of the lone witness.

Olanipekun subsequently informed the court that Tinubu and Shettima, listed as the second and third respondents in the petition, would commence their defense on the following day.

However, the five-member panel, headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, postponed the opening of Tinubu and Shettima’s defense until the next day(5th of July, 2023).

Peter Obi of Labour Party

The petition with the file number CA/PEPC/03/2023 entails Obi and the Labour Party contesting the results of President Bola Tinubu’s election.

Bola Tinubu, who serves as the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are named as the respondents.

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