Amazon Web Services Incorporated, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), engaged to provide technical support to it during the general elections, on Monday, sent its representative to testify before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), sitting in Abuja.
Representative of the company, Mpeh Clarita Ogar, mounted the box as the 7th witness in the petition that the Labour Party and its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, filed to nullify the election of President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Contrary to the position of INEC, the witness, who was led in evidence by a member of Obi’s legal team, Mr Patrick Ikweto, SAN, told the court that it did not record any technical glitch in the country on February 25, which was the day the presidential election held.
It will be recalled that the electoral body had blamed its inability to electronically transmit results of the presidential poll to its viewing portal, in real-time, using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation, BVAS, machines, on technical glitches it experienced on election day. However, in her evidence on Monday, the PW-7, who identified herself as a cloud engineer and an architect, tendered six volumes of reports from 33 regions of the world where Amazon Web Services host its servers.
According to the witness, the regions, are; North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Europe.
She told the court that there was no technical glitch across all six continents housing AWS cloud services on February 25, 2023.
Aside from adopting the witness statement she made on oath on June 19, the witness tendered a copy of her curriculum vitae, as well as her appointment letter, in evidence before the court.
Though all the respondents opposed the evidence of the witness, however, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel admitted all the documents as Exhibits in the matter.
Cited as respondents in the petition marked, CA/PEPC/03/2023, are INEC, President Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the APC.
The court adjourned its proceedings till Tuesday to enable the Respondents to cross-examine the witness.
Meanwhile, earlier in the case, the petitioners accused INEC of refusing to give them some electoral documents they would need to establish their allegation that the presidential election was rigged in Tinubu’s favour.
Counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Jubril Okutekpa, SAN, lamented that despite series of letters to the Commission, it still refused to give his clients the requested Exhibits.
“This segment is to formally bring to the notice of the court, the excruciating experience we are having from INEC.
“We have done everything humanly possible, including persuasion and letter writing. We decided to seek the help of the court,” Okutekpa, SAN, added.
Besides, he told the court that the petitioners only received few copies of I-ReV reports from few Local Government Areas of Lagos.
“We have consistently written letters to INEC, including the one I wrote personally on May 20 detailing all the documents we wanted.
“This proceedings is time bound. We have paid for the documents and INEC is supposed to give us the documents that we need.
“We are crying to your Lordships as we have nowhere to run to. It appears that INEC is deliberately frustrating the proceedings,” Obi’s lawyer added.
However, counsel to INEC, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, while refuting the allegation, insisted that the petitioners never raised such issue with him before the commencement of the proceeding.
He said there was no reason to deny Obi and the LP any document they want, once they follow the laid down procedure for obtaining documents from INEC.
“They didn’t want to follow the procedures. I am taken aback by submissions of Okutekpa. We can’t sit here and be hearing lamentation that is unfounded,” INEC’s lawyer added.