By Esther Blankson
The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Tuesday, opened and closed its defence in Peter Obi’s petition challenging the result of the February 25 presidential election.
Recall that Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the election and was sworn in as the president on May 29.
Obi of the Labour Party is urging the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja to set aside Tinubu’s victory on the grounds that the Independent National Electoral Commission failed to comply with the electoral laws.
At the resumed proceedings on Tuesday, counsel for INEC, A.B Mahmoud, SAN, proceeded to close its defence in the petition after calling the first witness, Lawrence Bayode, an assistant director in charge of its ICT department.
Bayode had also testified yesterday in aid of the commission’s defence against the petition filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He was led in evidence by the commission’s lead counsel, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, who also tendered some documents in the course of the proceedings.
The witness, under cross-examination, said that even if blurred documents were downloaded from INEC’s Result Viewing portal, it will not affect the physical results as recorded in the polling units results, otherwise called form EC8A.
He said the images of forms EC8A captured with the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System and transmitted to IReV are not relevant for the collation of results.
When examined by counsel for the All Progressives Congress, L.O Fagbemi, SAN, the witness told the court that the glitch recorded during the last presidential election did not affect the collation of the election results.
He added that if what was downloaded from the IreV are not clear the physical results could also be obtained.
The petitioners also tendered the E- transmission saver Web and compliance form through the witness. It was admitted and marked as evidence.
The witness told the court that the pre-production test was carried out before the election.
The witness agreed with counsel for the petitioners, Patrick Ikweato, SAN, that the report of the E-Transmission application identifies remediation to be undertaken to resolve the high vulnerability identified in the report.
The five-member panel headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned the court proceeding to tomorrow (Wednesday) when Tinubu and his vice, Kassim Shetima will open their defence.