The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for allegedly sponsoring an “amorphous” group to support the denial by the Commission of existence of a central server.
The group, under the aegis of Forum of Presidential Candidates of the 2019 Elections and National Party Chairmen, had, at a media briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, hailed the denial by INEC of the existence of the server.
Recall that the presidential election petition tribunal had on Monday, rejected the request by the candidate of the PDP in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar and the PDP to allow them access to INEC server.
But in a statement Tuesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party said its investigation revealed that the group was hurriedly “conjured” by the leadership of INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to Ologbondiyan, the main objective of the group was to assist INEC in distorting facts and making misrepresentations on a matter that are already subjudice.
This, the spokesman added, was an attempt to help clean up INEC’s blunders on the existence of the server, sway judicial pronouncements and influence public opinion on extant matters in court.
The statement said, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the press release by this nebulous group emerged after INEC’s several blunders while the Presidency has already admitted that the claim by the PDP and millions of Nigerians that INEC had a server wherein it stored results of the 2019 elections, constitutes the fulcrum of contention in the Presidential election.
“Nigerians are already aware of the existence of the server, which was duly budgeted for, set up in various INEC offices and in which data from the elections, including results, were stored. Moreover, the ruling of the Court of Appeal preventing the PDP from inspecting the server does not in any way obviate the existence of the said server.
“Furthermore, PDP counsels that instead of engaging in this unnecessary media trial, INEC should have listed its nebulous group as witness in the election tribunal.
“We also challenge INEC to confront the indictment contained in the reports of the European Union and other international agencies which showed evidence that the 2019 general elections were marred by irregularities and violation of rules by the Commission.
“It is therefore unfortunate that at a time when the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, ought to be apologizing to Nigerians for the failure of the commission he leads to conduct a credible, free and fair election, a mass electoral failure consequent upon which the nation has over 766 election cases across the country, his commission is now contracting faceless groups to launder its sinking image and pass a confidence vote on Yakubu.
“The PDP therefore counsels INEC to own up to its failures put an end to its consistent denials on the existence of the server as justice will be served at the end of the day”.