Atiku’s case suffers setback as EU backs INEC on Server

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The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in Nigeria on Saturday denied existence of any server belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission used to collate the 2019 general elections.

Recall that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) had claimed that an INEC server was used to transmit results of the 23 February presidential election and at the election tribunal, has obtained an order to examine the server.

INEC in its counter-affidavit at the tribunal dismissed the existence of any server, saying that results were manually collated across the country.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja on the EU EOM’s report, the Deputy Chief Observer for the EU, Hannah Roberts said the mission knew nothing about INEC server that was allegedly used to transmit results of the 2019 general elections.

“The EU had to rely on INEC’s explanation in result transmission,” she said.

Maria Arena, EU Chief Observer had earlier presented a final report with recommendations for electoral reforms.

She said the EU EOM had 91 observers on ground for the Presidential and National Assembly elections across Nigeria.

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Arena added that 73 observers were deployed for the Governorship and State House of Assembly election while only 20 observers were used for the supplementary elections.

Following its observation mission, she said the EU EOM had 30 recommendations on how to improve future electoral processes in Nigeria.

The EU report prioritised seven recommendations of the 30, one of which was that Nigeria should strengthen INEC procedures for the collation of results to improve integrity and confidence in electoral outcomes.

Another recommendation was that electoral tribunals cover pre-election cases in order to improve access to remedy and to avoid petitions being taken to different courts at the same time.

However, Festus Keyamo, spokesman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, who addressed newsmen afterwards, faulted the EU EOM for not coming to a conclusion in its report.

“If you observed certain anomalies, they could not have been more than 500 or 1000 polling units and if you do observe anomalies in those polling units, how does that substantially affect results coming from 120,000 polling units?

“So it is not enough for you discuss the anomalies.They must discuss the overall results coming from the entire country and whether it did reflect the wishes of the people. This is what we want to know because they have problems in the US elections, there are problems in the EU and even UK elections.

“For Christ sake, we need a detailed analysis to come to a definitive conclusion about the overall result of the election,” he said