Mr. Adejuyitan Olalekan, a Presiding Officer for the last Presidential election which held on February 23, disclosed to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Monday, July 9 that during the poll, he personally transmitted the results collated at his polling unit to the server using a code.
Recall that INEC had denied using a server for transmission of results during the February 19 presidential election.
Olalekan took the witness stand as the petitioners’ third witness at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who are by their petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.
The Presiding Officer who was led by Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), the petitioners’ lead counsel, to adopt his witness statement on oath as his evidence-in-chief, was told not to disclose the state or polling unit where he was stationed during the election.
While being cross-examined by Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Olalekan identified as a lecturer at African Community of Inquiry College of Education in Enugu State maintained his testimony saying; “I did it myself as the Presiding Officer. I transmitted through the code provided by INEC.”But when interrogated by Yunus Usman (SAN), INEC’s lawyer, Olalekan said he did not have the name or the number of the server.
Fielding questions from APC’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), the witness said, “Without the code, you cannot make any transmission of results”.But asked if he attached the code with which he claimed to have transmitted the collated results to his witness statement on oath, he said he did not but had it on his phone.
However while being interrogated by Olanipekun, the witness maintained that at his polling units, all the voters voted via card reader as the machine worked perfectly.
He also disclosed that INEC direct Presiding Officers not to allow voters who could not be authenticated by the card reader machine to vote manually with their picture captured.
He said, “No, we were not directed to allow people to vote manually. The card reader worked for every voter who came to my polling unit.”