Investigations have shown that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has a server, as an internal circular obtained recently indicated that the Commission transmitted voter information from smart card readers to a central server, during the 2019 Presidential election.
The document, posted on the social media by Reno Omokri, an opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, showed an INEC Operative carried a directive from the National Secretary of INEC, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, to other senior Officials of the Commission, on the challenges recorded in transmitting voter accreditation data to a server.
“The Commissioner has observed with deep concerns, the number of Smart Card Readers (SCRs) that do not have data of accredited voters in the just concluded Presidential/NASS elections nationwide”, Ms. Oriaran-Anthony said in the March 25, letter to all Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), across the country.
The top Electoral Officer also noted in the memo that 4,786 smart card readers did not have data on accredited voters, following the Presidential election, on February 23, representing about four percent of the total SCRs deployed for that exercise.
Ms. Oriaran-Anthony, according to the memo, directed all concerned RECs to liaise with their Technical and Electoral Operations Officials, to clarify why the card readers failed to upload accreditation data on election day. They were given until March 28, to submit their replies.
The document marks yet another pressure on the Electoral body, over whether or not it used a central server to collect data from polling units across the country, on election day.
Recall, that the Commission had insisted that it was not in possession of any central server for the conduct of the election, saying that, doing so would have contradicted the Electoral Act. INEC maintained the position, despite overwhelming claim to the contrary, by some of its Presiding Officers in the election.
Also, it could be recalled that many of the Presiding Officers and their subordinate, have since sworn affidavit to testify against the Commission, in favour of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Candidate and main challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2019 general elections.