SERVER CONTROVERSY | Fresh Document Shows INEC Transmitted Voter Information To Server - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


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SERVER CONTROVERSY | Fresh Document Shows INEC Transmitted Voter Information To Server

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As INEC continues to deny the use of central database in the February 23 presidential election, an internal circular by the electoral commission may have, in fact, conflicted its narrative on the matter.

In the document circulated Wednesday, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, INEC's National Secretary, issued directives to other senior officials of the commission on challenges recorded in transmitting voter accreditation data to a server.

“The commissioner has observed, with deep concerns, the number of smart card readers (SCRs) that do not have data of accredited voters in the just concluded presidential/NASS elections nationwide,” Ms Oriaran-Anthony said in the March 25 letter to all resident electoral commissioners (RECs) across the country.

Ms Oriaran-Anthony also pointed out in the circular that 4,786 smart card readers did not have data on accredited voters following the presidential election on February 23, representing about four per cent of the total SCRs deployed for that exercise.

“Attached is the chart, showing the PUs (polling units) not uploaded to the SCR accreditation backend, for each of the states,” Ms Oriaran-Anthony added in the memo.

The top electoral officer then directed all concerned RECs to engage with their repective technical and electoral operations officials to clarify why the card readers failed to upload accreditation data on election day. They were given until March 28 to submit their replies.

The document, which was first posted online by a member of the opposition PDP, Reno Omokri, is the latest in the ongoing controversy about INEC's use of the server in the last general election. 

The commission denied its use citing FG's delay in the release of money for the election and the President's refusal to sign the Electoral Act as passed by the 8th national assembly as reasons.

But some of its officers rejected the claims. And many of the presiding officers and their subordinates have since sworn affidavit to testify against the commission in favour of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s candidate and main challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari, who was declared winner of the election.

Investigations by media organisations including the Nigeria’s International Centre For Investigative Reporting (ICIR) also revealed that INEC budgeted nearly N1.5 billion for server installations ahead of the presidential election.

But the commission told the elections tribunal that it had no server and Mr Abubakar and his team were only being mischievous. 

Mr Abubakar’s legal team said the opposition leader won the presidential election but was rigged out by INEC officials who allegedly compromised to return Mr Buhari to power.

The elections tribunal denied Mr Abubakar’s request to inspect INEC’s server last month, saying granting such an order would presuppose that the court had ruled that the server actually existed.

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