Concerned Nigerians, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that advocates citizens rights and good governance at all levels, has raised alarm over an alleged tendencies by some persons within the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically rig the 2019 general elections.
Mr Deji Adeyanju, National Cordinator of the group, gave the warning on Thursday at a news conference in Abuja.
According to him, a reliable source within the electoral umpire has informed the group that the E-collation portal of INEC 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.
He expressed worries that the implication of such alteration 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.
He said: “Concerned Nigerians wants 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.
“If INEC did not restore the date ,time and location mechanism back into the E-Portal, the implication is that someone can sit at home and manipulate results by entering concocted figures,” he said.
Adeyanju also faulted what he called “unrestricted access to the e-collation portal that the 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.
He therefore called for a process were only the National Chairman of INEC will be the only authorized person to view the E-Collation of results on the its portal on Election Day to prevent manipulation of election results.
“We are worried that if unlimited access is given to the 12 National Commissioners to view the E-Collation of results as currently obtained, they will compromise the 2019 elections since many of them are APC sympathizers.
“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 therefore urged INEC to restore its former E-collation system that guarantee all electronically collated results on their portal reflect time of input, location and date.
“What we are simply saying is that INEC should be truly independent and ensure that every vote counts, and let Nigerians vote who they want to lead them come 2019.
“It should be neutral and not aid or be an ally to any political party or politicians, in order for us to have a free, fair and credible polls. “he said.