A lawyer for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Eze Emmanuel has faulted claims by the defeated governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ((PDP), Mr Akan Okon, that he has access to INEC’s data base.
Mr Eze who made the assertion at the Federal High Court court in Uyo today, September 14, while cross examining the Plaintiff, (Okon) as Counsel to the 3rd defendant (INEC) in the suit no FHC/UY/CS/110/2022 against the PDP, its governorship candidate Pastor Umo Eno and INEC, insisted that only through hacking could such be achieved.
Okon admitted his allegations in Paragraph 8b of his amended claim that the 2nd Defendant’s voter’s card was forged and was never issued by the 3rd defendant.
He also told the court in his oral evidence that he had access to the data base of the INEC and did not see the 2nd defendant’s voter’s card, hence his ability to confirm that Umo Eno’s voter’s card was printed by a roadside printer.
However when confronted by the Counsel to INEC, Okon said the access to the data base of the commission he spoke about was limited access.
Okon also confessed to the court that he never applied to INEC for verification of the 2nd Defendant’s Voter’s card and that he also did not report the alleged voter’s card forgery which he had noticed since January 2022, to the police or any security agent.
The plaintiff also denied knowledge that the INEC Data Manager in Abuja is the only INEC personnel who can access the data base of the Commission whenever he is authorized.
He said, “I put it to you that the only way you could have accessed the data base of the Commission is through hacking”, the INEC Counsel said, adding that the applicant therefore hacked the data base on the said date on April 24th, 2022.
Earlier on cross examination by counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Usoro, SAN, the plaintiff had confessed that his allegation that Pastor Eno had not been duly registered as a voter by INEC, did not stem from any interaction with the elections body and that he never went to Nsit Ubium where the 2nd defendant’s polling unit is located at Ikot Ekpene Udo to confirm his suspicions before dragging him to court for forgery.
Okon also confessed that throughout the period of the voter’s registration exercise in 2014, he confined himself to his local government in Itu and never went to Nsit Ubium or any other local government, neither did he know any of the INEC enumerators who operated in Nsit Ubium local government area.
The Plaintiff also awed the court when he said that he had no knowledge of all those who registered during the voter’s registration exercise in 2014 and also knew no other person who registered in Ikot Ekpene Udo where the 2nd defendant hails from.
He also told the court that he accessed the data base of INEC through the GOOGLE search engine to check the particulars of the 2nd defendant and that despite being friends with Pastor Umo Eno, he never discussed with him about legitimacy of the voter’s card.
The case was adjourned to Thursday September 15 when the defense counsel will commence defense.