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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 Outlines Nine Focal Areas to Guide Foreign Policy in Next Four Years

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Nigeria has identified nine priority areas that would guide its foreign policy actions in the next four years.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known in Abuja while briefing members of the diplomatic corps on the priorities of the Nigerian government.

The priority areas include building a striving sustainable economy; enlarging agricultural output, food security and export; as well as attaining energy sustenance and power.

Others include expanding transport and other infrastructural products; expanding business growth entrepreneurship and industrialisation; expanding access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigeria; enhancing social inclusion, reducing poverty; fighting corruption; as well as improving governance and security for all.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the first term of the present administration, the government’s priority was in three key areas, namely: fighting corruption, tackling insecurity, and job creation.

He said Nigeria’s foreign policy would henceforth be realistic in terms of reflecting the domestic reality of putting “Nigeria First”.

“We promote within the African Union (AU) good governance, democracy, and protection of human rights.

“We are not in any kind of conflict with any country in the whole world and we have excellent relations with every member state of AU and UN.

“We believe firmly that peaceful coexistence and security are pre-conditions for economic development and prosperity.

“We believe that the UN and multilateralism are forces for good.

“We strongly support the UN, although we call for its reform especially to increase the number of its permanent members in its security council to include at least three African countries with veto powers,” he added.

The minister said more funds should be made available for UN peace-keeping operations.

Mr Onyeama, who said that the UN was doing a great job across many countries of the world, urged countries to continue to abide by UN resolutions, not choosing which ones to respect and which not to respect.

He condemned the use of force for the settlement of disputes and expressed strong support for institutions such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court for International conflict resolution.

He said international trade and economic diplomacy were the main focus of “our foreign policy.”

“We have to expand our trade; we have to innovate; we have to industrialise in order to lift our people out of poverty.

“We are striving to increase bilateral trade with all your countries very often within the framework of a bilateral commission.”

The minister disclosed that the ministry was building an online business machine portal to promote and facilitate cross-border trade.

According to him, global climate action has posed a lot of threat to lives.

He said the Lake Chad which had been a major source of livelihood for more than 30 million people, had shrunk by 90 per cent due to climate change.

He noted that irregular migration has been condemned and possible measures have been put in place to address it.

On border closure, the minister said the issue would be resolved very soon and that it would be a win-win situation for stakeholders.

He thanked the diplomats for their support and assured them of the Nigeria’s continued support.

(NAN)

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Buhari Embarks on First 2020 Foreign Trip, Departs for UK Today

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President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Friday for London to participate in the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit holding on January 20.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the event would be hosted by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The organisers said the event is expected to bring together African leaders, international business chief executives and heads of international organisations “to create new partnerships that will deliver more investments and jobs” to the benefit of people and businesses in African countries and the United Kingdom.

“Apart from highlighting new perspectives on UK-Africa Partnership for Prosperity, issues of Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure; Trade and Investment; Future African Growth Sectors and Clean Energy and Climate, are expected to dominate presentations and discussions during the Summit.

“With the expected take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in mid-2020, the London investment summit will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to project itself as a leading investment destination for new industries.

“In addition, the summit will deepen Nigeria-United Kingdom investment ties post-Brexit given that Africa currently represents just two per cent of British trade activity, with Nigeria accounting for only 10 per cent of that total,” Mr Adesina stated.

He further disclosed that the Nigerian delegation to the investment meeting will showcase what the federal government had done through policies and legislation to improve the investment and business climate in the country.

While in the United Kingdom, the presidential aide said, Mr Buhari will meet with the Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles in Glasgow, Scotland.

“The president and his delegation will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Johnson as well as heads of multilateral organisations,” he added.

He said the president would be accompanied to the Summit by Governors Yahaya Bello, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya and Okezie Ikpeazu of Kogi, Gombe and Abia States, respectively.

Also on the presidential entourage are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

Others include the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

Mr Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Thursday.

(NAN)

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Power Grid Collapses Twice in Two Hours, Worsens Nationwide Blackout

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The nation’s power grid collapsed twice in two hours on Thursday, worsening the blackout being experienced by consumers in parts of the country.

The grid, which is being managed by government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria, has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid a lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.

The TCN announced that a system disturbance occurred at about 12.34pm on Thursday, affecting some parts of the country.

“As at 1:10pm, supply was restored to Abuja and most parts of the affected areas. The TCN is still working to completely restore and stabilise the nation’s grid,” it said.

Ikeja Electric and Eko Electricity Distribution Company, two of the nation’s distribution companies, had earlier on Twitter informed their customers about the cause of the outage in Lagos.

“Dear customer, the outage you’re experiencing is due to a system collapse of the grid which occurred this afternoon at 12.36hrs. All parts of IE’s network are affected. Efforts are ongoing to restore the grid. Kindly bear with us,” Ikeja Electric said.

The Disco, in another tweet two hours later, said another system collapse was recorded at 2.15pm, adding that restoration efforts were ongoing.

Total power generation in the country stood at 4,236.3 megawatts as of 6am on Wednesday, according to latest data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

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