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SHOCK: INEC wiped off results in all BVAS – Expert tells presidential election tribunal

Mr Hitler Nwala, a witness called by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the February 25 general election, Abubakar Atiku, has told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja, that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deleted election results in all the 110 BVAS machines he inspected.

 

Nwala, a Digital Forensic Analyst, was subpoened by Atiku and PDP to give evidence in their petition challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the presidential election, the Daily Independent reports.

 

Led in evidence by the petitioner’s lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN, Nwala testified that the BVAS machines inspected were only those from the Federal Capital Territory, adding that he didn’t know at what point the results were deleted on machines.

 

When cross examined by Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, counsel to the INEC, the witness said he attached a standard device used for such an exercise to the machine to arrive at the conclusion.

 

When asked if he had the authority of the commission to attach an external device to the BVAS machine, the witness answered in the affirmative.

 

On whether he was aware that inspecting only 110 machines out of 3,163 that were deployed in the FCT amounted to only 3.4 per cent of the total number of BVAS deployed in the FCT and 0.06 per cent of BVAS deployed nationwide, Nwala said he only compiled the report and didn’t calculate the percentage.

 

An attempt by the INEC lawyer to give a BVAS machine to the witness to check if data was deleted as claimed was rebuffed, as Nwala said it would be against the ethics of his profession to collect the BVAS machine in open court to check it.

 

“It is professionally wrong to access a device that will be used as evidence in a court of competent jurisdiction because it will temper with the evidence.

 

“We cannot access the device directly, what we do is to extract the evidence and take it for analysis.”

 

The witness argued that since all the devices had the same model and look alike, he couldn’t tell if it was one of the ones he inspected by merely looking at it.

 

On his part, counsel to the All Progressives Congress, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN told the witness that neither he nor any of his team member signed the six volume forensic report.

 

The witness, however, insisted that he signed the report as well as the certificate of compliance.

 

Chief Wole Olanipekin, SAN, counsel to President Bola Tinubu, showed the witness a portion of his report where he said that from his inspection of the machines, “nothing was intrinsically wrong with them”.

 

“Were you in Abuja on the day of the presidential election?

 

“If you were not in Abuja, how then can you know that there was nothing intrinsically wrong with the machines on the day of election?”

 

Nwala said he was not in Abuja and so couldn’t have known if something went wrong with the machines on the day of election.

 

Meanwhile, the petitioners tendered Forms EC8A series from 20 local government areas of Ogun, 17 local government areas of Ondo, 27 local government areas of Jigawa and 20 local government areas of Rivers.

 

The Chairman of the PEPC, Justice Haruna Tsammani has adjourned hearing until tomorrow.

 

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