Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council on Monday asked the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services to invite, interrogate and possibly prosecute leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party over what it described as their illegal access to the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The organisation’s Director, Strategic Communications, Festus Keyamo (SAN), made the call in a petition addressed to the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; and the Director-General of DSS, Yusuf Bichi.
Although he was not specific on the identities of the PDP leaders he wants investigated, Keyamo made reference to the fact that the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has filed an election petition against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and has made a claim of having access to INEC server.
He claimed that upon the postponement of the February 16, 2019 presidential/National Assembly elections, already prepared presidential election results surfaced on the Internet.
Keyamo said the fake results which had details of the scores of the candidates of the major political parties gave victory to Atiku even when elections did not hold.
According to him, the only conclusion that can be drawn from the development is that the PDP had prepared those results which were to be smuggled into INEC server.
He added that when the election was finally held on February 23, 2019 and Buhari was declared the winner, the PDP cried foul and claimed that from results it obtained from INEC server, it had proof that its candidate won the election by about 1.6million votes.
Keyamo said the claim had revealed that “some criminally-minded PDP operatives” had access to the INEC server to be able to smuggle in fake results.
He argued that the only means by which they could have access to the INEC server was by the criminal hacking of the server or through the criminal conspiracy of some INEC officials.
He said, “The APC Presidential Campaign Council hereby prays that the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services should use your good offices to investigate the hacking of and/or illegal tampering with the INEC server by the PDP.
“The leadership of the PDP must be invited, interrogated and investigated and those identified as perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted.
“Opposition is healthy in a democracy but it is not a licence for criminality and illegality.
“A country governed by laws cannot be blackmailed or cowed into indolence by the perceived underdog status of the opposition so as to condone such a blatant criminal claim by the PDP of having illegal access to INEC server.”
Court won’t rely on Atiku’s server figure to sack Buhari – Keyamo
In an interview with our correspondent, Keyamo said the claim by Atiku that he beat President Buhari with 1.6 million votes would have no effect before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
He said that there was no way the court would rely on the figure to remove President Buhari from office.
Keyamo said the Electoral Act (2010) as amended did not support electronic transfer of election results.
Besides this, he said the result being brandished by both Atiku and the PDP was not genuine.
Recall that Atiku and the PDP, who are petitioners at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal had claimed that it was wrong to claim that Buhari won the February 23, 2019 Presidential election as declared by INEC.
INEC had on February 27, 2019 declared that President Buhari won the election with 15,191, 847 votes to defeat Atiku who polled 11, 262, 978 votes.
Both Atiku and the PDP in their 139-page petition to challenge Buhari’s victory claim that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results from state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16, 741, 430 votes.
Keyamo said both Atiku and the PDP did not know that transmission of votes by electronic means was not allowed by law.
He said, “The law or the Electoral Act does not allow you to bring (transmit) results by server. No room for electronic transmission at all. All results were collated and transmitted manually.
“So, they cannot use that forgery to remove the President or sack him.
“In their forgery, all they put together was the PDP and the APC. What happened to other political parties and their candidates? They scored zero?
“In the first place, they will have to explain to Nigerians and the security agencies how they got access to the fake result sheet they are brandishing up and down.”
Asked if the President had filled his defence to the claim by Atiku and the PDP before the tribunal, Keyamo declined to give a categorical answer, but said the party and its candidate were still within the time stipulated by law to respond.
Buhari, APC panicking over Atiku’s case at Tribunal – PDP
Responding, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, alleged that the APC and Buhari were panicking because of the case instituted before the tribunal by it and Atiku.
He said this was why the ruling party was writing petitions to the DSS and the police.
Secondus, who spoke with our correspondent, said the national leadership of the party would not be intimidated.
He said both the APC and the President were afraid to defend their “rigging of the presidential election at the tribunal.”
He said, “It is obvious that the President and his party are afraid and are panicking as a result of the petition we filed at the tribunal.
“They failed in their clandestine moves to persuade us not to go to the tribunal. Now the reality has dawned on them that they have to defend the injustice they meted out to us and Nigerians now.
“Now, for election they claimed they won, they ought to have filed their defence at the tribunal and be eager to defend it.
“Why are they running to the DSS and the Police with the hope that they will force us to reveal our sources? Tell them to go to the tribunal and submit their evidence of winning the election.”