By David Olalekan.
Some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were deployed as electoral officers for the 2019 presidential election have reportedly affirmed transmitting results electronically to a ‘central server’ through smart card readers.
According to the officials who worked as presiding officers and deployed to different states, they transmitted the results to the server in compliance with the commission’s directive which was made known to them during a pre-election training organized by the electoral body, adding that they were informed of a central server in Abuja where results are collated electronically.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has consistently denied transmitting results electronically, but the reported statements of the electoral officers have fueled the controversy even further.
See testimonies of the electoral officers:
An ad-hoc staffer for PU8, Ode Ajibade Ward, Ilorin East Local Government, Ode Ajibade in Kwara State explained how they handled the results as directed.
“We were instructed, in line with the guidelines, to record the results on form EC8A and paste at the polling unit and also transmit the result via the electronic card readers through the e-collation option, and this was communicated to us during training. The revision was done by ‘RAC TECH’ guys too.
“The challenge we had was bad network. However, we ended up transmitting the results via the electronic card readers when we got to the collation centre. You must send the results before submitting the card readers.
“Not only were the results sent. Figures regarding accredited voters were also transmitted. I did all these as the PO, and I also had an APO (VP)”, he said.
An ad-hoc staff at Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State said, “INEC asked us to paste the result sheet and also send them electronically through the card reader.
“The results, as we were told, were sent into a central server in Abuja. The results can’t be more than the accredited voters on the card reader. It will reject it. You can’t submit your card reader without posting the results.”
An Assistant Presiding Officer in Ipetumodu area of Osun State, Gbenga Oladayo, said “They told us there’s a server that automatically records the number of accredited voters, cancelled votes and rejected voters.
“We did that as we were told during the training. I was shocked when I also saw the news that INEC claims that there is no server.”
Shocked by INEC’s denial, Collins, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University on election duty at PU008 of Fajuyi hall, Ile-Ife in Osun State said, “At exactly 1:40 p.m. that day, we sent the necessary information that should be sent via the card reader. I was shocked by INEC’s denial.”