INEC staff defends Delta guber election results at tribunal

Posted by Osteen Oyibode, Asaba | 17 September 2015 | 3,177 times

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As Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa’s defence at the tribunal sitting in Asaba continues, staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who came to bear witness, testified that INEC complied with the electoral laws guiding conduct of elections.

This is the third witness after Secretary to the State Government, Ovie Festus Agas, and INEC collation officer had testified at the tribunal on Monday.

At the resumed hearing of the case, Okowa’s third witness, Mrs. Mercy Ehikhametalo, the INEC staff, led in evidence by the lead counsel to the Governor, Dr. Alex Izyion (SAN), told the tribunal that card readers were used during the election and that about 67.7 percent of data from the card reader were uploaded into server in Abuja head office before the server was shutdown.

She also told the tribunal that INEC experienced some challenges with the use of the card readers during the elections, due to poor network from service providers.

She said the card reader had pin codes from Abuja and cannot be fraudulently manipulated, adding that during network failure, the card reader could upload data to their server in Abuja.

She insisted that during the just concluded governorship election, neither the contestants nor the political parties tampered with the card readers.

Also, against the claims of the petitioners, she told the tribunal that, it was after the elections that the INEC staff uploaded results from the polling units to the server at their headquarters in Abuja, stressing that uploading of data was not automatic neither was it done simultaneously.

Ehikhametalo informed the tribunal that, some polling units with large number of voters were provided with more than one card reader to ensure that all eligible voters voted during the election.

The witness also told the tribunal that INEC embarked on training of ad-hoc staff on the use of the card reader and that not much mistakes were recorded during the election that could affect the outcome of the election.

Earlier, the tribunal delivered a ruling where some documents were admitted while few others were rejected, while further hearing continues.

Source: News Express

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