February 4, 2023

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Why we countered Atiku’s server declare in 2019 polls – INEC


 

The Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) Thursday acknowledged that it has at all times had servers by way of which election outcomes had been transmitted.

The fee defined that it was, nevertheless, opposed the deployment of a server within the submit 2019 presidential election litigation as a result of the petitioners at tribunal had argued for the existence of a particular server 

INEC made the clarification Thursday at a two-day capability constructing workshop themed “Peace Journalism/Battle Delicate and Election Reporting” in Abuja.

The server allegation

Difficult the result of the February 23, 2019 presidential election received by Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Social gathering (PDP), claimed knowledge from INEC’s server confirmed he truly polled a complete of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who had 16,741,430 votes.

Following the declare, former Vice President Abubakar rejected the end result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the FCT  through which Buhari polled 15,191,847, whereas Atiku got here second with 11,262,978 votes.

Talking by way of their authorized group led by Levy Uzoukwu, the duo of PDP and Abubakar requested the tribunal to compel INEC to grant them entry to the server and sensible card readers used within the conduct of the election.

However their utility was denied with the tribunal saying it couldn’t grant such till it dominated on whether or not or not INEC had a server.

The authorized battle ran a full course as much as the Supreme Court docket which aligned its ruling with that of the tribunal.

 INEC explains

And 4 years after, INEC threw extra mild on why it insisted there was no sever.

Talking to journalists on the workshop, INEC’s Director of Info Communication and Know-how (ICT) Engineer Paul Mokore mentioned the fee denied the existence of server within the 2019 Election Petition Tribunal as a result of the legal professionals that took the matter to the tribunal insisted INEC deployed a particular server.

“This problem of server has been arising, and so far as INEC is anxious, we now have been making an attempt our greatest to throw mild on the problem. Now in 2019, there was a lawyer, the individuals who took that case to the tribunal had insisted on particular, particular server. They talked about the server sort; they talked about the IP of that server. They talked about every part, every part in regards to the server they took to the tribunal. 

“Now what INEC chairman might say at that time was that we don’t have such server since you went to the tribunal with a particular IP tackle of the server, the kind of server, the identify of server, every part concerning the server was taken to the tribunal and since the lawyer representing INEC at the moment was additionally smart, he advised the tribunal that INEC doesn’t have such server. What we now have at all times mentioned is that we don’t have such server. 

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“Even at that, in 2019, we didn’t do digital transmission of outcomes. If we might even say that ‘we didn’t have server then,’ in quote, can’t we now have it now that we’re going to do digital transmission of outcomes?

“We have now at all times had servers however not that server that was taken to the tribunal. We don’t have such server. Such server will not be in INEC, we don’t have it,” he burdened. 

Additionally talking, Director Voter Schooling and Publicity Victor Aluko mentioned INEC timetable and schedule of actions remained sacrosanct.

He known as on Nigerians to belief within the skill of the fee to ship free, truthful and clear polls subsequent 12 months.

NUJ fees media  

In his remarks, President Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Comrade Chris Isiguzo known as on the media to shun pretend information and resist getting used as a mouthpiece for any political social gathering or candidate.

He mentioned: “Journalists should keep away from hate journalism, and pretend information as these evils can destroy a society. The arrival of multi-media expertise has modified the sample and circulate of communication, globally and since journalism is within the enterprise and apply of communication, it has additionally been impacted upon tremendously.

“The NUJ is dedicated to bettering the moral customary of reports reportage throughout elections. We are eager in guaranteeing that Nigerian journalists undertake their skilled duties throughout the ambit of the Electoral Regulation and different laws.” 

On the theme of workshop, Isiguzo mentioned it was apt as “it is extremely essential to take the problem of peace as a cardinal level and think about the should be cautious in order that areas which might be already fragile don’t explode or implode. 

“Peace is a primary requirement in a democracy. No democracy can flourish within the absence of peace. Whereas we concede that it’s inevitable to get rid of crises and conflicts from our society, journalists in Nigeria ought to work in direction of the development of the precise of freedom of expression, entry to data, freedom of the press, media independence, battle transformation and peace constructing. These are conditions for open governance and growth, which in the end serve the general public curiosity.

“With the intention to correctly advance public pursuits, earn public belief and be watchdogs of the society, the pursuit of fact and public good have to be the cornerstone of journalism apply in Nigeria. 

“This makes it compulsory for each journalist to maximally adjust to moral ideas {and professional} requirements. It additionally makes it compulsory for each journalist to be entitled to first rate wages, safety from assaults or hazards and conducive working setting.”

The workshop was organised by NUJ at the side of INEC and members of the Centre for Democracy and Improvement (CDD).

Bauchi  

 In a associated growth, INEC and the NUJ Thursday educated journalists within the North-east sub area of the county on conflict-sensitive reporting forward of the forthcoming 2023 common elections. 

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Talking on the coaching held on the NUJ Press Heart, Bauchi,  INEC Nationwide Commissioner and Chairman of Info and Voter Schooling Festus Okoye recognized a few of the roles of the media within the electoral course of to  embody availing the essential stakeholders with well timed and related data pertaining to the electoral course of, finishing up voter training and public enlightenment within the context of the electoral authorized framework and the processes and procedures pertaining to the elections, amongst others.

Represented by Nasiru Zakari, Okoye mentioned media have to be conscious that preparations for elections, the conduct of elections and the decision of electoral disputes are in a category of their very own and can’t be mentioned and analysed from a generic viewpoint. 

He mentioned: “Within the context of this dialogue, the function of the media in reference is to the political/electoral course of and the fee recognises that the media is a essential stakeholder within the political course of. That can’t however be so, for democracy thrives with efficient data circulate and it’s axiomatic that true democracy can not in fact and actually exist with out efficient data circulate.

“It’s within the curiosity of the nation for the media to at all times search for official clarification of germane and critical nationwide points, particularly when electoral issues are concerned, as a substitute of counting on the opinion of unnamed extremely positioned officers of the fee. 

“The media should maintain a steadiness between all of the contending events and candidates. Part 95(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 is categorical that state equipment together with the media shall not be employed to the benefit or drawback of any political social gathering or candidate,” the fee mentioned.

NNPP on court docket order

In the meantime, the New Nigeria Individuals’s Social gathering (NNPP) Thursday urged INEC   to adjust to the court docket’s choices ordering the fee to simply accept candidates submitted by the social gathering to exchange earlier candidates who had withdrawn from the competition offered that the social gathering complied considerably with the provisions of the legislation.

The social gathering additionally counseled the judiciary for its well timed intervention within the electoral course of which, it mentioned, had helped to consolidate, deepen and strengthen the nation’s frail democracy and hailed the judgment of the Federal Excessive Court docket Abuja delivered by Justice Zainab Abubakar on Friday November 11, 2022.

NNPP Nationwide Publicity Secretary Dr. Agbo made the commendations in an announcement Thursday in Abuja.

The assertion mentioned:  “The court docket acknowledged that INEC has no energy to impose a candidate on the plaintiff (NNPP) nor can it cease any political social gathering from changing its candidates who’ve withdrawn from the competition not later than 90 days to the election, emphasizing that the fee’s timetable and schedule of actions for the 2023 common election is a subsidiary laws pursuant to Part 148 of the Electoral Act 2022,  and can’t supersede the substantive laws, the Electoral Act 2022.”

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“Justice Zainab Abubakar held that any provision of the timetable and schedule of actions for the 2023 common election that’s inconsistent with the Electoral Act 2022 is null, void and with out impact in any way to the extent of that inconsistency.”

“The authorized fireworks through which NNPP was represented by its Nationwide Authorized Adviser, Barrister Robert Hon and INEC by Tanimu M. Inuwa (SAN), Alhassan Umar (SAN) Abdullaziz Sani (SAN), Bello (SAN) main 16 extra legal professionals got here to an finish Friday November 11, 2022, paving manner for our nice social gathering to exchange all its candidates who withdrew from numerous elective positions after their names had been submitted to INEC. Some mischievously left the social gathering to frustrate its possibilities of successful the seats they deserted”

“They embody Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, the social gathering nominated to contest the Kano Central Senatorial District seat, a formidable NNPP’s stronghold within the State the place its Presidential Candidate, His Excellency, Senator (Engineer) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Ph.D (FNSE) got here from and was a two time period Governor, which he remodeled to a contemporary State with spectacular cutting-edge infrastructure and human growth, an eloquent testimony of his progressive management, tenacity of objective and political sagacity.

“Senator Shekarau’s political intrigue is well-known, he joined our nice social gathering claiming to be a reformed democrat seeking a brand new Nigeria which solely the NNPP can supply if voted into workplace in 2023. “He was welcomed and supplied the strategic Kano Central Senatorial District ticket, which he deserted and joined one other social gathering with the fallacious assumption that NNPP would not discipline a candidate to exchange him. Shekarau betrayed the boldness the social gathering reposed in him and his co-travelers in political gymnastics.

“They embody the social gathering’s Yobe State deputy governorship candidate, Potiskum State Constituency candidate additionally in Yobe State and Taraba South Senatorial District candidate. They may all get replaced in compliance with the order of the Federal Excessive Court docket Abuja on Friday November 11, 2022”

“By the order of court docket, INEC will now change Senator Ibrahim Shekarau with Rufai Sani Hanga because the NNPP candidate for Kano Central Senatorial District.That is democracy in motion. INEC ought to comply instantly with this clear order of court docket and cease dissipating vitality and assets in large goose chase in flagrant violation of the Electoral Act 2022 which is in pressure for 2023 common election”

“This landmark judgment is nice music within the ears of all lovers of democracy, due course of and rule of legislation in Nigeria. It reinforces the social gathering’s confidence within the Judiciary being the final hope of all aggrieved residents. It additional evokes our sturdy perception in a brand new Nigeria which solely the New Nigeria Individuals’s Social gathering can usher in if voted into energy in 2023.”