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Global Affairs Magazine
Presidential Poll: INEC wiped off results in BVAS, forensic expert tells court
2023 Election

Presidential Poll: INEC wiped off results in BVAS, forensic expert tells court

A digital forensic expert, Mr. Hitler Nwala, on Thursday, narrated before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, how he uncovered that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,

  • PublishedJune 22, 2023

A digital forensic expert, Mr. Hitler Nwala, on Thursday, narrated before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, how he uncovered that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, wiped off results of the presidential election that held on February 25.

Mr. Nwala mounted the box as the 25th witness of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the presidential election.

Testifying before the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel, the witness, alleged that the results that were deleted, were contained in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, machines, that were deployed for the conduct of the elections.
Atiku and his party had insisted that data from the BVAS machines which were used for the accreditation of voters and uploading of polling unit results, would establish their allegation that the presidential election was rigged in Tinubu’s favour.

Meanwhile, led in evidence by lead counsel for the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Mr. Nwala, said he was summoned through a subpoena, to appear as a witness in the case.

He told the court that he specifically inspected and conducted forensic analysis on 110 BVAS that were deployed for the conduct of the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

According to him, upon his enquiry, the electoral body maintained that it had to wipe off the information in the BVAS to be able to redeploy them for the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections that held on March 18.

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However, during cross-examination of the witness, counsel to INEC, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, faulted report of the witness, stressing that 110 BVAS devices used for the election, was not sufficient to establish that there was any irregularity on the part of the Commission.

Mahmoud, SAN, while contending that the sample size the witness relied on to write his report, was small, noted that a total of 3, 263 BVAS devices, were deployed during the presidential election.

He argued that the sample the witness based his report on, represented only about 3.5 percent of the total device the INEC deployed in FCT and and 0.06 percent of the total BVAS that was used for the presidential election, across the country.

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