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How INEC Erased Presidential Election Results From BVAS – Forensic Expert Tells Court


How INEC Erased Presidential Election Results From BVAS – Forensic Expert Tells Court

Mr. Hitler Nwala, a digital forensic expert, has told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), sitting in Abuja, that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), deleted results of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023.

Nwala who appeared in court on Thursday, June 22, as the 25th witness of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, alleged that all election data stored in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), machines used for the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were deleted.

The witness claimed to have inspected 110 BVAS machines wherein he discovered that the data were deleted.

While being cross examined by INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, who insisted that the witness couldn’t have arrived at such conclusion since he didn’t investigate all BVAS machines used, the witness maintained his ground, adding that it was unnecessary for INEC to have deleted the presidential election result data from BVAS machines used in the FCT because the FCT did not hold governorship elections.

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Recall that INEC had after the February 25 elections, deleted data from BVAS in preparation for the governorship election, after obtaining a court order.

According to Mahmoud, a total of 3, 263 BVAS machines, were deployed during the presidential election and as such the 110 machines sample size the witness relied on to do his investigation and report is too small.

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Nwala submitted a report of his investigation carried out on the BVAS to the Presidential election petition Tribunal.

The report was subsequently admitted as evidence and marked as exhibits, despite objections by the respondents in the matter.



Challenging the witness’s claim, Mahmoud presented to the court, for demonstration, a BVAS machine, which he asked the witness to access and show proof that the data was deleted.

The witness said it was professionally wrong for him to access the machine directly.

In his words;

“We don’t access the source of evidence directly. We extract the evidence and access it from another source.

“If we access it now, the content will change and will tamper with the evidence. It is professionally wrong to tamper with evidence that will be relied upon in a court of law.”

INEC insisted the BVAS must be inspected in court. But the chairman of the five-man panel, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, informed the counsel that the allotted time for conducting his cross-examination had elapsed.

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Meanwhile, counsel for Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun, pointed out disparities in the forensic report concerning the number of machines inspected by the witness.

The senior advocate hinted that the report could equally be riddled with errors, but the witness told the court that the differences dictated in the numbers were typographical errors.

The court subsequently adjourned its proceedings till Friday to enable the petitioners to close their case, after which the Respondents will open their defence.

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