- EU election observers have denied knowledge of the existence of the servers of INEC used to conduct 2019 elections
- The observers told journalists at a briefing in Abuja that the results on which it based its final analysis of the elections were those announced by INEC
- However, head of the media arm of President Muhammadu Buhari's campaign organisation Festus Keyamo faulted the EU observers' report as incomplete
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in Nigeria has said that it knows nothing about servers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that were allegedly used to transmit results of the 2019 general elections.
Speaking at a press conference on the EU election observation mission report held at the Transcorp Hilton on Saturday, June 15, the deputy chief observer for the EU Mission, Hannah Roberts said the Mission relied on results that were released by INEC.
Reacting to questions from journalists, Roberts said the EU Mission in Nigeria is unaware of an INEC server by which results were transmitted during the election.
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“The EU had to rely on INEC’s explanation in result transmission,” she said while answering the question on INEC server.
Earlier, Maria Arena, EU Chief Observer had presented a final report with recommendations for electoral reforms. She said the EU EOM had 91 observers on ground for the Presidential and National Assembly elections across Nigeria.
She added that 73 observers were deployed for the Governorship and State House of Assembly election while only 20 observers were used for the supplementary elections.
Following its observation mission, she said the EU EOM had 30 recommendations on how to improve future electoral processes in Nigeria. “The mission concluded that the systemic failings seen in the elections, and the relatively low levels of voter participation, show the need for fundamental electoral reform.”
The EU report prioritized seven recommendations of the 30, one of which was that Nigeria, “Strengthen INEC procedures for the collation of results to improve integrity and confidence in electoral outcomes."
Another recommendation was that, “Electoral tribunals cover pre-election cases in order to improve access to remedy and to avoid petitions being taken to different courts at the same time."
Addressing journalists after the press conference, Festus Keyamo faulted the EU for not coming to a conclusion in its report.
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“The result reflects the overall wishes of Nigerians, that was the report by so many observers, if you are an observer you should come to a definitive conclusion, don’t be dodgy about it, don’t run away from that fact because we have 120,000 polling units across the country and in all their report I don’t think they discussed at most 500 polling units.
“If you observed certain anomalies, it could not have been more than 500 or 1000 polling units and if you do observe anomalies in those polling units how does that substantially affect results coming from 120,000 polling unit.
“So it is not enough for you discuss the anomalies, they must discuss the overall results coming from the entire country and whether it did reflect the wishes of the people. This is what we want to know because they have problems in the US elections, there are problems in the EU and even UK elections.
“For Christ sake, we need a detailed analysis to come to a definitive conclusion about the overall result of the election,” he said.
Recall that Legit.ng had reported that the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, June 13, prayed the presidential tribunal to order INEC to grant them access to inspect the commission’s server.
The PDP also asked the tribunal to give it permission to inspect other electronic gadgets used by INEC in the February 23 presidential election.
In their petition before the tribunal, the PDP and Atiku claimed that they won the February 23 presidential election as per the results fed into INEC’s server, a claim the electoral umpire has consistently faulted.
Legit.ng also reported that the EU EOM knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the poor conduct of the 2019 general elections.
The EU observers additionally faulted the actions of political parties and security agencies in the elections.
The observers said there were shortcomings in INEC’s operations while leading political parties were at fault for not controlling their supporters who unleashed violence on electorates.
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