Presidency reacts to Atiku, PDP declined request to inspect INEC server

The office of the Nigerian president has described the ruling by the election tribunal to decline the application of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to inspect the election result server as a triumph of justice.

“What this means is that Justice and fair hearing through due contest by the parties of a major issue for determination remains sacrosanct and remains considerable by the tribunal upon according parties just and fair hearing and not the other way round,” Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement.

The election tribunal Monday refused to grant the application filed by Atiku and PDP to inspect the server and data of smart card readers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the presidential election of February 23, 2019.

The five-man panel headed by Justice Mohammed Garba yesterday ruled that granting the application would imply that the court had delved into and resolved the contentious issue of the existence of a central server at INEC.

However, the presidential spokesman said the quest to inspect the server was “a desperate attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to overreach judicial process…”

He expressed satisfaction that the attempt was “overwhelmingly rejected by a unanimous decision and the long-standing principle of law has once again been re-enacted.”

Shehu, who hailed the tribunal’s ruling said, if PDP and Atiku’s had been granted, it would have amounted to attesting to the opposition party’s claim that INEC server existed.

He stated that the electoral law prescribes manual transmission of results only which INEC obeyed to declare it had no server where it transmitted election results to be inspected.

Shehu affirmed that, “President Muhammadu Buhari won with a majority of four million votes and because only real votes matter, INEC announced him as the winner of the 2019 presidential election.”

Buhari was declared the winner of the election. He polled 15, 191, 847 votes while Abubakar, a former Nigerian vice president between 1999 and 2007, got 11, 262, 978 votes.

Unsatisfied with the election result, Atiku alleged the election was rigged and requested an inspection of the election result server which INEC said did not exist during the presidential election.

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