After at least two videos by two States Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) went viral, appearing to support the position of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, over INEC server collation of results that show him as alleged winner in the February 23 Presidential election, official spokesman of All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo SAN, has discountenanced the weight of the videos in court.
He spoke as the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) sought to give traction to the videos.
Recall that the IndependentNational Electoral Commission declared incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari As winner of the presidential polls.
The videos, excerpts of interviews on Channels Television, show Mike Igini, the REC in Akwa Ibom State, and his Osun counterpart, Mr. Segun Agbaje, stating that results would be posted to INEC servers.
Said Keyamo in a series of tweets:: “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.
“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 and the guidelines do not allow it to do so.
“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
“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 and 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!”
However, in its statement, the PDP said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the Presidency’s jittery reaction to the media interview granted by a top official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), confirming the existence of a central election results transmission server in the commission, further exposes its nerviness, as the guilty is always afraid.
“The PDP says the interview, which has already gone viral, speaks volumes about the reported denial by INEC of the existence of such a server for the 2019 general elections as well as the frenzy by President Muhammadu Buhari’s team to distract the Presidential election petitions tribunal by externalizing its proceedings.
“This is in addition to Presidency’s feverish attempt to divert public attention by engaging in judicial interpretations and hauling insults on our party and candidate, Atiku Abubakar, over our determination to retrieve our stolen mandate in the court.
“The lesson for all in the latest episode is in the undying verity that no matter how long falsehood appears to thrive, the truth will always come to light and prevail at the end of the day.
“Instead of this pitiable resort to frenetic and chaotic play to the gallery, the PDP counsels President Buhari and his team to focus on facing the course of justice at the tribunal.
“The PDP further advises President Buhari and his team to curtail their desperation and respect the sanctity and integrity of the Court of Appeal by ending their externalization of proceedings, which has been their calculated scheme to distract the court and derail the course of Justice.
“The PDP and our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are full of respect for the court and will never join President Buhari’s team in engaging in actions that tend to undermine independence and sanctity of the judiciary.
“Our party stands firmly with Nigerians in our determination to retrieve our stolen mandate in the court and no amount of shenanigans by the APC and the Buhari team will distract us or detract from the resolve of Nigerians in their expectation of the triumph of their will at the tribunal”.