INEC officials explain why agents were denied access to election results at 2023 Presidential Poll

Three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC have explained that the Commission instructed them not to give final copies of election results that were tabulated in a Form EC8A, to some political party agents.

The officials also admitted that they couldn’t electronically transmit the polling unit results in real-time using the BVAS device during the 2023 presidential election held on 25 February 2023 across the country.

They explained this in court on Friday during the hearing of the petition candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, filed to challenge the outcome of the 2023 election.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

The officials testified before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja that they were hired as Ad-hoc staff for the general elections.

They further told the court that as Presiding Officers, they conducted the presidential election at their various polling units and subsequently handed the results to the Ward Collation Officers, saying that they were warned not to give copies of the results to any agent of a political party that failed to sign the result sheet.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the All Progressives Congress, APC  had opposed the decision of the petitioners to produce five ad-hoc staff members of the electoral body that participated in the conduct of the presidential election, to testify as witnesses before the court.

However, despite the objections, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the court, gave the former Vice President, Atiku, the nod to produce the five witnesses.

The court said it would reserve its ruling on the objections and deliver the same at a later date.

Whereas two of the witnesses testified on Thursday, the remaining two gave their evidence on Friday.