The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have filed a fresh application for access to information contained in the smart card readers and “central server”, which it said the Independent National Electoral Commission used for the conduct of the disputed election.
They filed the application before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, where their petition challenging President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress’ victory at the poll is pending.
The petitioners, through their lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), made the request in their application filed before the tribunal, despite INEC’s insistence that the results of the election were manually collated and never transmitted electronically.
Uzochukwu, in a chat with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, confirmed that the application was filed on May 9, adding that the respondents – INEC, Buhari and APC – had yet to file their replies to it.
INEC had declared that Buhari and APC the won the February 23 election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku who polled 11,262,978 votes.
But Atiku and the PDP, in their petition filed on March 18 to challenge the outcome of the poll, stated that “from the data” they obtained from INEC’s server, “the true, actual and correct results” showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
By calculation, Atiku and PDP claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes. However, in its reply filed on April 10 to counter the petition, INEC urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition, insisting that the petitioners’ claims were false.
It said, through its lead counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), that it collated the results of the election manually and never transmitted them electronically.
However, the petitioners, in their fresh application, maintained that INEC kept “central servers” in which “information was recorded and stored in database packets relating to accreditation of voters and transmission of results from the presidential election”.
They sought to be permitted to inspect the said servers and the card readers used for the conduct of the poll, examine and analyse the information obtained from them.
They also prayed for the tribunal’s permission to be allowed to file a report of their inspection, examination and analysis of the content of the facilities.
Their written address filed in support of the application read in part, “This motion is brought pursuant to Section 151 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Section 71 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Paragraphs 18 (7) (e), 41 (5) and (6), 47 (2) & 54 of the First Schedule to Electoral Act, 2010, (as amended), Section 6 (6) (b) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and under the Inherent Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.
“The motion prays for the following orders as expressed on the face of the motion paper, namely:
“An order allowing access or a court-supervised access and inspection by the Petitioners, in the presence of the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Buhari and APC) if they so desire, of the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) central servers wherein information was recorded and stored in database packets relating to accreditation of voters and transmission of results from the Presidential election, the subject-matter of this petition.
“An order directing the 1st respondent’s Chief National Electoral Commissioner and/or other officers to grant the petitioners access to the said database packets in the 1st respondent’s central servers.
“An order granting leave to the petitioners to inspect and obtain certified true copies of Smart Card Reader accreditation data from the Smart Card Readers used in the said election and stored in the 1st respondent’s servers.
“An order granting leave to the petitioners to file a report of the inspection, examination and analysis thereof at the trial.”
The applicants filed 13 grounds to back their application and their claims in it.
Part of the grounds of the application acknowledged that INEC as well as the two other respondents to the petition — Buhari and APC — had contradicted their claim about the electronic transmission of results to the server.
But they insisted INEC was constitutionally and statutorily vested with the responsibility to conduct and manage the presidential election and set up electronic data central servers.
They stated, “The 1st respondent, as the body constitutionally and statutorily vested with the responsibility to conduct and manage the presidential election, set up electronic data central servers for the purposes of storage of transmitted accreditation data and results from smart card readers deployed for the election in an apparent bid to ensure relative transparency of the process.
“The respondents have, in their replies, joined issues with the petitioners in respect of the said data transmitted to the INEC’s central servers.”
But they said, “The Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) itself acknowledges network data by recognition given to the website of the Independent National Electoral Commission in section 71 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). We also submit that section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011 recognises computer data, and evidence generated therefrom.
“Thus, the general framework of the law accommodates such data retrievable from computers, of which a server is a storage component.”
Maintaining that INEC deployed the servers for the conduct of the February 23 poll, they said as part of the grounds of their application, “the results of the election were electronically transmitted to the 1st respondent’s Central Server”.
They added that notice had given INEC “notice that reliance will be placed on the extract of the electronic data from the said Central Server as at February 25, 2019”.
They added, “The data from the said central server is very material and relevant for the just determination of this petition.
“The petitioners require the data from the said central servers to maintain this petition.
“The petitioners also require the extract of the data from the smart card readers for the maintenance of the petition.
“The smart card readers were used at the said election for verification, accreditation, and authentication of voters and for the transmission of results to the 1st respondent’s servers.”
They added, “It will work tremendous hardship and grave injustice to refuse access to the contents of the central server that will assist the honourable court in the just consideration and determination of the issues involved in this matter or to allow a Party suppress or withhold access thereto.”
The Punch – Olusola Fabiyi and Ade Adesomoju
Second Term: My Bid to Return Out of Commitment to Democratic Ideals – Demola Doherty
Hon. Demola Doherty is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a House of Representatives aspirant in Ifako/Ijaiye Constituency, Lagos State. Addressing newsmen recently, Doherty highlighted his achievements as an Executive Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government and his desire for a second term.
“The administration in which I was the Executive Chairman remains a reference and legacy administration in Ifako-Ijaiye till date, the more reason the people yearn for my return as Chairman for 2nd term in office.
“The template for the infrastructural developments witnessed during our first term is still with us upon which successive governments have built their projects but we still have a lot to do to remove Ifako-Ijaiye from the sub-urban status.
“Classical examples of infrastructures visible on ground are drainages & road construction viz: Mojisola Str, Adekoya Str, Gospel Crusader, Abu Alfred, Aina Ajobo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu Rd. (Old Akute Road) et al.
“The health of the people was of utmost importance to us hence the concept of Ashabi Taiwo Maternity.
“My next term plan is to address strategic roads yet to be done, such as Oshola Str., Powerline, Ibari Str. and link Ogundimu to Olowo surbub. I also intend to team up with our Assembly member to accelerate construction of Abiola Onijemo bridge.
The health of the people was paramount to our being in govt hence the concept of New Ashabi Taiwo Maternity, upgrade of Ajilete PHC for 24hrs service.
Construction of New Ogundimu PHC; donation of 30 KVA Diesel Generator; Out Patient benches for Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital and financial support.
Three new buildings, consisting 36 classrooms were constructed in Ajuwon (Ward F), Ogundimu (Ward F) Fagba (Ward D) and Rmrehabilitation of Bishop Oluwole Primary School (Ward C1).
Desks, chairs & tables were provided for pupils and teachers, respectively.
Yearly bursary to tertiary institutions students were increased by 50% and paid regularly. Indigent students were annually assisted with free WAEC/GCE forms and extra-mural classes.
Bags, English Language workbooks, exercise books and writing materials were provided free to 8000 pupils & students of Ifako-Ijaiye as dividend of democracy.
My next term plan is to wholly support Hon. Tope Adewale our Assembly member, to increase the number of free JAMB forms beneficiaries to 100% and to provide additional support to tertiary students in our local govt area.
Ishaga market was expanded and rebuilt to accommodate more market women and men. My next term plan is to rebuild NRC Area Office as well as Obawole/Ndike/Powerline Market.
The political class witnessed remarkable cohesion with local govt support during our last outing but there is a great deal of room for improvement.
My next term plan is to restructure wealth creation and poverty alleviation in a way that items relevant to the specific needs of the people shall be given out to reduce poverty in the land and make them self-sustainable.
Cleric Offers Scholarship to Underaged Victims of Sexual Abuse
A popular Islamic cleric, philanthropist, business and Estate mogul, and founder, Sebilu Nnajat TV, Sheikh Hammed Olanrewaju Alfulaany, has offered scholarships to two sexually abused underaged girls, aged 14 and 16, who were sexually molested by their parents.
The victims, Ayomide Rachael Johnson, and Motunrayo Ogunsanwo, were allegedly sexually assaulted by their fathers in Meiran, and Epe respectively before they were rescued by Lady of Africa Foundation.
The organization reported the matter to the police and the fathers were arrested. The case is presently in court.
The Cleric was approached by the Founder and National Coordinator of the Foundation, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi, to assist the victims in furthering their education. Since their case became public knowledge, the victims had been under the care of the Foundation.
Upon hearing the plights of the victims, the business mogul offered to sponsor their education to University level and promised to take care of their feeding and daily expenses.
The elated Princess Bukola Fasuyi expressed gratitude to the cleric for coming to the aid of the victims, and urged other philanthropists to follow suit by coming to the assistance of the Foundation in providing succour to the needy.
Apart from the victims, the business mogul also offered scholarships to a 22year old Barakat Hassan and her 24-year old sister, Azeezat, who were abandoned by their mother for 22 years after she packed out of her matrimonial home.
Their situation became worst after the death of their father, as they had no one to take care of them.
Barakat lost her sight in the process, placing a heavy burden on her sister to fend for both of them.
Their plight was brought to the attention of the philanthropist who offered to foot the medical bill of Barakat running into millions of naira. She is presently receiving medical attention in one of the top hospitals in Lagos.
The two sisters have also been given accomodation by the philanthropist and are on the verge of enrolling in school.
While eulogising the philanthropic gesture of Sheikh Olanrewaju Hammed Alfulaany, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi said the philanthropist has demonstrated there should be no religious or ethnic biases towards helping the needy, adding such gestures should be emulated by every Nigerian.
She called on International community, government and well-to-do Nigerians to support Sheikh Olanrewaju Hammed Alfulaany in his philanthropic gesture as well as come to the aid of Lady of Africa Foundation in it’s quest to give back to the society.
Domestic Violence: Foundation Calls for Protection of the Girl-Child
A women advocacy group, Lady of Africa Empowerment and Advocacy Foundation, LAEAF has called on government to ensure the right of girl child is protected amidst rampant cases of domestic sexual abuses of young girls.
While reacting to increase in cases of sexual abuses of teenagers, the founder of the group, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi, said it’s disheartening to hear cases of fathers sexually molesting their daughters.
According to her, children who are victims of such abuses ends up becoming wayward and live with the psychological effects of the abuse for the rest of their lives.
Citing the case of a 14year old girl at Meiran, Lagos State, who was sexually molested severally by her father before she was rescued by the organization, Princess Fasuyi said the victim is currently battling with the trauma, having been introduced to a wayward as a result of her father’s action.
She added the organization is making every efforts to assist the victim recover from the abuse and has enrolled her in one of the government’s school in the state.
“It’s high time government ensured the right of girl child are protected. It’s disturbing when.you hear stories of fathers sleeping with their daughters. We have a case of a 14 year old girl who was sexually abused by her father. At times the girl would ran out of the house in the middle of the night whenever the father wanted to.sleep with her. This happened on several occasions. W
When we got wind of it, we had to rescue the girl and report the matter to the police. The father was arrested, charger to court, and is currently in prison custody while the case is going on in court.
The action has made the girl wayward but the organization is trying to re-orientate her and give her a new life,” she said.
She also cited the case of a 17year old girl who was rescued in Epe after being severally sexually molested by her father. The girl was later rescued by the organization.
According to her, the organization reported the matter to the police and the father was arrested. The case is presently in court.
” We are urging the government to pay more attention to women by empowering them. It’s said when you build a woman, you build a nation. Many young girls who grow up to be wayward are victims of domestic abuses from childhood. Government must ensure violators are brought to book.
Law enforcement agencies must ensure violators are prosecuted and justice is served to victims. Girl child should be educated while parents, especially mothers should pay adequate attention to their daughters to protect them from randy father’s,” she urged.
Lady of Africa Empowerment and Foundation is a non governmental organization committed to the empowement and rapid development of women.
Over the years, the Foundation has been involved in several cases involving the welfare of women.
In 2009, the Foundation rescued one Dupe Olowoyo, a widowed and single mother of two who was down with cancer of the vagina. Several millions of Naira were spent on her treatment by the Foundation before she was cured of the disease, and was later empowered by the Foundation.
Likewise, one Yinka Popoola, a single mother of four, was treated of cancer of the mouth by the Foundation.