Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign, says courts will only deliver judgments based on the provisions of the electoral act and not videos circulating on social media.
Keyamo was reacting to videos where some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff said the commission planned to transmit results of the 2019 elections electronically.
Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had challenged the outcome of the presidential election won by President Muhammadu Buhari before the election tribunal.
Citing results from the server of INEC, Atiku said he defeated Buhari with over 1.6 million votes.
But Keyamo described the videos on INEC’s plan to transmit results to INEC server as mere entertainment.
He said while INEC may have planned to transmit the results electronically, what matters most is if it actually did.
“Without referring to any particular pending Election Petition, there’s a need to generally guide Nigerians not to gullibly fall for the fantasy created by any video circulating where INEC official(s) spoke of INEC’s plan to electronically transmit results before the elections,” Keyamo tweeted.
“The video(s) of some INEC official(s) expressing intention to electronically transmit results are only circulated for entertainment. That procedure is neither contained in the Electoral Act nor in INEC’s Guidelines. Courts are only guided by these documents and not such videos.
“Also, what you plan to do may be different from what you ACTUALLY DID. Assuming INEC planned to transmit electronically, the moment it said after the election that it did not do so, the matter ends there especially as the Electoral Act & the Guidelines do not allow it to do so.”
Atiku and the PDP had called 13 presiding officers from Yobe and Borno states to testify before the tribunal. The electoral officials said they uploaded results from the polling units in their states to INEC server.
But Keyamo alleged that some people connived with some INEC staff to upload results to the website of the electoral body and “the fact that electronic transmission didn’t happen destroyed their plan”.
According to to him, “those who actually planned to steal the people’s mandate are the ones crying foul”.
“In anticipation of the electronic transmission, some crooks concocted fictitious results and perhaps in connivance with certain INEC insiders (or by hacking) tried to upload those results into the server. The fact that electronic transmission didn’t happen destroyed their plan,” he said.
“The irony is that the real cheats are the ones struggling to create a narrative that they were cheated; the real crooks are the ones struggling to convince everyone that the system is crooked; those who actually planned to steal the people’s mandate are the ones crying foul.
“The noise about electronic transmission of INEC results is akin to a student who wants to cheat in an exam & enters the hall with prepared answers, not noticing that the set questions are not exactly framed as expected. So, when he’s later told he failed, he says it’s IMPOSSIBLE!”
INEC has dismissed Atiku’s claims as false, saying the results were fabricated but the presidential candidate has refused to back down on his claim.