A leaked internal circular of the Independent National Electoral Commission indicates that the electoral body transmitted voter accreditation data during the 2019 presidential elections from smart card readers to a central server.
The memo, dated March 25, 2019, was posted on Twitter on Wednesday by Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The document showed that the secretary to the commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, directed INEC resident electoral commissioners to provide feedback on challenges experiences during the elections, including failure to transmit voter accreditation data to a server.
It stated, “The commission has observed, with deep concerns, the number of smart card readers that do not have data of accredited voters in the just concluded presidential/NASS elections nationwide.
“The total number of SCRs without accreditation data is 4,786 nationwide, which stands at about 4 per cent of the total SCRs deployed for that election. Attached is the chart, showing the PUs not uploaded to the SCR accreditation backend, for each of the states.”
Oriaran-Anthony further instructed the RECs to direct their respective heads of department (ICT) to download the list of the polling units without accreditation data for their states from a provided web link.
She added, “You are please requested to liaise with your HOD election operations and the electoral officers to provide comments beside each PU, stating why there are no accreditation data. The comments should reflect what happened to the SCR or the results of the PU: covering cases where election did not hold, cancellation of PU result, stolen or destroyed SCRs, etc. This should be submitted in both soft and hard copies, latest by Thursday, 28th May, 2019.”
When contacted, the INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi said, “Anything to do with server is before the tribunal. I cannot comment on anything, sorry.”
The commission had said during the ongoing presidential election tribunal that it did not have a central server during the 2019 elections, adding that the operation of a server would go against the Electoral Act.