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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.

The Punch

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Just In: Man City Free to Participate in Champions League, Says CAS

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Manchester City will be free to play Champions League football next season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport lifted a two-season ban from European competitions imposed by UEFA on Monday

An initial fine of 30 million euros ($34 million, £27 million) was also reduced to 10 million euros on appeal.

City were accused of deliberately inflating the value of income from sponsors with links to the Abu Dhabi United Group, also owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour, to avoid falling foul of financial fair play regulations between 2012 and 2016.

The case against City was reopened when German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of leaked emails in 2018.

However, CAS found that “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred”.

City welcomed the decision that will have huge ramifications on the club’s finances and potentially the future of manager Pep Guardiola and star players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present,” City said in a statement.

“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”

Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover 12 years ago, City’s fortunes have been transformed from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years among 11 major trophies.

On Saturday, they secured qualification for the Champions League for a 10th consecutive season with a 5-0 win at Brighton.

More silverware could come before the end of the season as Guardiola’s side face Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday before restarting their Champions League campaign in August, holding a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid from the first leg of their last 16 tie.

City’s victory in court will raise fresh questions over how effectively UEFA can police FFP.

But European football’s governing body said it remained committed to the system which limits clubs to not losing more than 30 million euros, with exceptions for some costs such as youth development and women’s teams, over a three-year period.

“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations,” UEFA said in a statement.

“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.”

(AFP)

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Buhari Approves Suspension of Ex-EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the boss of the country’s anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu days after he appeared at an investigative panel.

The Nigerian Government said Magu’s suspension is to “allow for unhindered inquiry” by the panel investigating allegations of corruption against the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, should take charge and oversee the activities of the Commission pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regards,” Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said in a statement on Friday.

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COVID-19: Fresh Lockdown Likely After Two Weeks – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday lamented the increasing rate of COVID-19 cases among people in government, saying it was directly impacting on governance and security in the country.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who stated this at the task force press briefing in Abuja, also said the possibility of ordering a fresh total lockdown to curtail further spread of the virus could not be ruled out.

The SGF, who advised prominent Nigerians to take COVID-19 protocols seriously, said the virus does not respect status.

Mustapha’s warning came amid rising cases of COVID-19 among state governors and other prominent Nigerians.  Recently state governors, including David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and their Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi  Akeredolu, contracted the virus.

Warning people in authority, the SGF said,  “Of recent, we have witnessed a high rate of positive cases especially among people in authority. This has a direct impact on governance and security of our nation. We urge that vigilance and care should be exhibited by all Nigerians, irrespective of status. This virus does not discriminate and the PTF shall keep sustaining its sensitisation messaging.”

When asked if the task force would be considering a fresh lockdown in the face of what it observed as disregard for guidelines, Mustapha said events of coming weeks would determine the next line of action.

He said, “We will not speculate on what will happen in future but we will protect the lives of Nigerians.

“To achieve that, if it means to lock down again, we will not shy away from that responsibility. We will recommend to the President who will look at the report and take a decision on our recommendation. What happens in the next two three weeks will determine what we will do.”

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