The source of data on the whistleblower’s Facts Don’t Lie Nigeria website is traceable to the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), an information technology expert witness, has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The petitioners, PDP and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had in their petition told the tribunal that INEC operated a central server for collation of results of the February 23 presidential election. The petitioners also claim that the results harvested from the server are contained in a whistleblower website known aswww.factsdontlieng.com.
David Ayu Nyango Njoga, an ICT expert told the tribunal on Friday that data contained in the whistleblower website is traceable to the INEC server.
“Without the INEC Chairman’s permission, I would not access the said server and decrypt the documents obtained from it. I don’t know the INEC official that released the documents but I was able to use scientific method to trace the source of the data on the website to INEC’s server. If you give me the INEC server key, I will decrypt it. This data is encrypted for security purpose”, Njoga said.
The witness account came on a day PDP and Atiku Abubakar closed their case in the petition against the victory of Muhammadu Buhari.
The petitioners are challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) declaration of Buhari as winner of the February 23 presidential election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The petitioners are asking the tribunal to nullify the victory of Buhari on grounds of alleged irregularities, substantial non compliance with the electoral laws, widespread violence, and non qualification of Buhari, amongst others.
The petitioners are also asking the tribunal to declare Atiku winner of the election based on the results obtained from INEC central server, which according to them revealed they scored majority of the lawful votes cast at the poll.
Though the petitioners had planned to call about 400 witnesses within the 10 days allotted to them to substantiate their claims, they were however able to call 62 witnesses and tendered over 50,000 documents to prove their case of alleged rigging, over voting and non compliance with the electoral guidelines.
The 62 witnesses called include Nyango and a data analyst, Joseph Gbenga to buttress testimonies of their agents at the unit, wards, local government and state levels of the alleged abnormalities during the conduct of the presidential poll, which according to the petitioners’ last witness, Osita Chidoka is the costliest election ever conducted by Nigeria.
Chidoka, who was the National Collation Agent for the petitioners and Head of the PDP Situation Room, told the tribunal that he refused to sign the result of the presidential election because of wrong entries through the manual system.
He insisted that results were transmitted into INEC server and that INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu confirmed the existence of a central server in a conversation with the national agents.
Earlier, the ICT expert in his evidence alleged INEC has four websites from which he was able to generate information used in his analysis in his report to the petitioners.
He listed www.factsdontlie.com as one of the websites he said though does not belong to INEC but the information therein were uploaded by a whistleblower INEC official who is anonymous.
He said if authorized by the INEC chairman he can access the server and provide them with the name and number of the server
The witness said that the information contained in the report of his analysis were extracts from three of the four websites.
The witness confirmed that www.factsdontlieng.com was created on March 12, 2019 while the election was held February 23, 2019.
On his part, Joseph Gbenga, the data analyst said that he analysed forms EC8A, EC8B and EC8C in 11 focal states of the federation on the instruction of the petitioners.
Among the last set of documents tendered by the petitioners, were INEC 2019 presidential election declaration results, report on all PVC used for the presidential election, record of card reader accreditation, summary of registered voters in polling units were election were cancelled, summary of collation at the national level and 36 copies of summary of results of collation at the states level.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has adjourned further hearing till July 29, for INEC to open its defence.