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Atiku Gives ‘Details’ of INEC Servers, Set to Call Microsoft, IBM Experts as Witnesses

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, is set to call Microsoft, IBM and Oracle experts to authenticate his claim that the servers belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission showed that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by over 1.6 million votes.

Atiku also identified the server where the results are kept as INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 and its unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535.

The PDP candidate said this in fresh response to the reply of INEC to his petition.

Atiku and the PDP will also be expected to tender INEC’s training manual on elections, a printout of the votes of candidates from smart card readers and a printout of the forensic audit report on INEC’s server as evidence.

The former Vice-President and the PDP claimed to have polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress who he said scored 16,741,430 votes.

However, INEC’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Mr Chidi Nwafor, in his witness statement on oath attached to the reply, specifically denied the “server results” which the PDP and Atiku were laying claim to.

He said all the results were collated manually and were never transmitted electronically.

Atiku, in his fresh response, said the figures he claimed to have scored were genuine.

The reply read in part, “The servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the 1st respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the 1st respondent’s Presidential result’s server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 whose physical address or unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535. The descriptions are unique to the 1st respondent’s server.”

On how the case would be argued, the PDP and Atiku stated, “The petitioners will at the trial of this petition rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, amongst others.”

The PDP candidate and his party said one of the spokespersons for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo (SAN), even attested to the fact that the election data was in INEC’s servers when he wrote a petition to the Inspector-General of Police calling on him to arrest Atiku.

The petition further stated, “The spokesperson for the second respondent’s campaign organisation (Keyamo) openly admitted that the data in question was in the first respondent’s server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the IGP and the Director of the Department of State Services asking the security agencies to investigate the second petitioner (the PDP) for allegedly hacking into the server of the first respondent (INEC) and obtaining the data in question.

“Specifically, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN) claimed in the petition that it was the first petitioner (Atiku) who smuggled the data into the server. The petitioners (Atiku and the PDP) hereby plead the said petition to the security agencies and the second respondent is hereby given notice to produce them at hearing.”

The PDP and Atiku said INEC’s claim that the transmission of results was purely manual was a lie.

They made references to several press statements issued by INEC insisting that there would be an electronic component of results collation.

Atiku and his party said there was nothing in the Electoral Act that barred INEC from transmitting results electronically.

They said INEC also lied when it claimed that its directive on election day was that card readers should only be used in areas where they worked.

The PDP and its presidential candidate added, “The petitioners shall at trial lead evidence to show that the first respondent (INEC) stated on several occasions before and after the elections that the use of card readers was compulsory.”

The petitioners also stated that INEC through its Chairman and Returning Officer, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, committed grave errors in the final collation of the presidential results.

The INEC boss was said to have muddled up the results, announcing the wrong figures for wrong political parties.

Atiku and his party said in the Form EC8E INEC falsely credited Rev. Chris Okotie (Presidential candidate of the Fresh Democratic Party) with a wrong political party and wrong scores and in the same vein, the INEC boss falsely credited Rev. Onwubuya Abraham (presidential candidate of Freedom and Justice Party) with a wrong political party and wrong scores.

The INEC chairman was also accused of falsely crediting Ojinika Chizee (presidential candidate of the Coalition for Change) and Abah Elaigwu (Change Advocacy Party) with the wrong scores and wrong political parties.

Meanwhile, the PDP has come to the defence of Atiku’s lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), whom INEC claimed was not a legal practitioner and was not licensed to practise law.

In a witness statement signed by a former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, the party said Uzoukwu was called to the bar in 1982 and was even the attorney-general of Imo State from 1994 to 1996.

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Nigeria’s Response to Coronavirus is Impressive, Says UN Chief

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The United Nations has praised Nigeria for it’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country with an estimated 200 million inhabitants, currently has 190 cases of COVID-19 but has managed to keep the death toll to just two.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, while speaking at a virtual news briefing in New York, referred to Nigeria as a ‘developing country’ that has “shown a remarkable capacity to respond to the coronavirus.”

“I have to say this: some of these developing countries have shown a remarkable capacity to respond.

“I was quite impressed to see, for instance, Nigeria putting in place and immediately establishing a hospital. “And I saw difficulties in countries that are much more developed to do quickly the same.”

He also renewed his call for a global ceasefire, urging countries in a conflict like Syria, Libya and Yemen to lay down arms and allow for unified combat against the coronavirus pandemic.

“The worst is yet to come,” Guterres said, referring to countries beset with fighting.

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Army Officer Becomes First Coronavirus Positive Case in Ondo

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The Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has confirmed the first coronavirus case in the state via his Twitter handle. He also said the patient is an army officer who recently returned from India.

Akeredolu was the first in the state to undergo COVID-19 test after fears he was in contact with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who is currently undergoing treatment for the virus. The governor tested negative for the virus.

“We have just received confirmation of our first positive #COVIDー19 case in Ondo State this evening,” Mr Akeredolu wrote on Friday evening.

“The infected person is currently under isolation and will be monitored. We have activated all necessary protocol to locate all contacts and will be working closely with @NCDCgov.”

The state during the week was in celebration after 12 persons suspected to be carrying the virus came out negative.

The case of a female resident in Arogbo Ijaw, in Ese Odo Local Government Area of the state, who was said to have recently returned from abroad, created a stir in the area, but after a laboratory test, she was found negative.

As of 11 a.m. on Friday, the total national figure for infected persons had risen to 190, with 20 persons treated and discharged and two deaths recorded.

With Ondo State joining the list of affected states, the number is now 191, although the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is yet to formally announce the Ondo case.

“It is with great concern that the Ondo State Government announces the first index case. A suspected case tested positive to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, said in a statement on Friday evening.

“We thank God for His protection thus far. Ours has been a case of anxiety while we enjoyed a COVID-19-free state status.

“This development has, however, repudiated that enviable status even as we urge all to be vigilant and keep ourselves within the precincts of measures put in place.

“God help Ondo State.”

Mr Akeredolu followed his earlier tweet with another, clarifying that the coronavirus index in the state is a military officer who recently arrived from India.

The governor said the returnee from India had been in isolation since he returned and had been monitored by the medical team of the military and the Ondo State team through the period.

“Upon showing some symptoms, his samples were taken and the diagnosis confirmed by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control at their lab in Ede,” the governor said.

“We have now commenced the transfer of the officer to the state isolation center.”

The governor said there was no need for any panic as the infected officer was in a very stable condition and “we ask for calm from all in Ondo State.”

“We are on top of this and ask that our citizens continue to follow all preventive measures to ensure they remain safe,” he added.

In his statement, Mr Ojogo said the state government considered it necessary to allay the fears of the people and explain that the confirmed index case, an army officer, had voluntarily isolated himself as soon as he arrived in the country from India over a week ago.

“During this period of self isolation, he was monitored by the State Inter-Ministerial Committee in collaboration with the NCDC,” said Mr Ojogo.

“Necessary tests were carried out and result is what we have today.

“However, we appeal to all and sundry not to panic as both the NCDC and the State Inter-ministerial Committee have jointly commenced efforts to effect needful protocols in line with COVID-19.”

However, in spite of the measures taken to stem the spread of the disease, residents in the state have continued to flout the stay-at-home order and the closure of markets.

Some markets still opened for business on Friday, as well as some shops in the outskirts of Akure, where enforcement is minimal.

The popular Oda market where farm produce are usually sold, came alive in the early hours of the morning, where residents made brisk purchases. The market is a morning market.

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Chinese Medical Team to Arrive in Nigeria Soon, Says Health Minister

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Friday, said that Chinese doctors, nurses and medical experts would arrive in Nigeria in a few days to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

The minister said this during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Cases in Nigeria have reached 210 as the global figure also surpassed one million mark. He said Nigeria was also exploring the possibility of producing some medical equipment after key stakeholders met in Abuja on Thursday.

The coming of the Chinese medical experts was announced just as the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said efforts to contain COVID-19 in Nigeria were being limited by finance, manpower and other indices despite the support from government and individuals.

Ehanire said, “The global number has crossed one million mark, barely three months after the first cases were first reported in Wuhan, China. It is an indication that it is a public health challenge that we must not take lightly.”

He continued, “We are already seeing what may be the indication of community transmission, in that 30 per cent of the cases have incomplete epidemiological information. 51 per cent are imported cases and 19 per cent are through contacts of known cases.

“Directors of the Federal Ministry of Health had discussions with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to explore the potential for local production of medical consumables such as face masks, gloves, sanitisers and even ventilators.

“This is in view of looming global shortages of medical supplies for the response due to high demands from all countries. Clinical trials and other processes are ongoing to validate various therapeutic for COVID-19 treatment.”

After the briefing, Nigeria recorded 20 new cases: 11 in Lagos State, three in FCT, three in Edo State, two in Osun State and one in Ondo State.

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