A civil society group known as Concerned Nigerians has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by some persons within the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to electronically rig the 2019 general elections in favour of a major political party.
Deji Adeyanju, the convener of the group, gave the warning on Thursday at a news conference in Abuja.
He said a reliable source within INEC had informed the group that the e-collation portal of the Commission was tampered in a way that would no longer show the location, the time, and the date results from each polling units were fed into the system.
According to him, the implication of such interference was that anyone who had access to the e-collation platform could input unverifiable figures into the system as genuine election results from obscure locations without trace.
Adeyanju said: “Concerned Nigerians want to use this medium to call the attention of Nigerians and the International Community to fresh attempts by some individuals at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically rig the 2019 General Elections.
“We have been reliable informed by our sources within INEC that the E-Collation portal of the Commission has been tampered with as it no longer shows location, time and date of collation of results.
“The validity of results of the 2019 elections will be tied to the credibility of the E-Collation portal especially the imputing of results real-time from polling Units across the country.
“Therefore, if the E-Collation will not reflect time, date and location where results are entered from; it means the outcome of the elections will not be credible. The implication of this is that, anyone can enter results from any location, at anytime and on any date.”
Another issue of concern he raised was the unrestricted access to the e-collation portal 12 national commissioners of INEC enjoyed.
He expressed worry that such level of access could pave way for some unscrupulous characters amongst them to view the results collation process from the portal’s backend, in real-time, and possibly divulge same to their accomplices in various political parties before the final results were announced.
“We are worried that if unlimited access is given to the 12 National Commissioners at to view E-Collation of results as currently obtained, they will compromise the 2019 elections since many of them are APC sympathizers.
We want a process were only the National Chairman will be able to view the E-Collation of results on the INEC portal on Election Day to prevent manipulation of the 2019 elections.
“We call on INEC to review the existing structure of its election management team by redeploying Mr A.T Yusuf, the current Director of Operation who continues to work with Amina Zakari on strategies to manipulate the election outcome in 2019. Both individuals are working closely with the Chief of Staff to the President and other members of President Buhari’s cabinet members,” Adeyanju said.
The group further called on INEC to restore the former e-collation system and ensure all electronically collated results on their portal reflect time of input, location and date.
He noted that Nigerians were in need of qualitative leadership at all levels, hence, the need for INEC to ensure that the 2019 electoral process was credible, free and fair.
“We equally call on the Nigerian people to be vigilant in the days, weeks and months ahead,” he concluded.