In continuation of the facts and concise argument on issues for determination before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) presented by the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, produces details of the evidence by the Amazon Web Services (AWS) witness countering the alleged temporary failure of communication between the e-transmission system and the IReV Portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The witness provided incontrovertible evidence of the Health Status of the Amazon Servers which showed that there was no technological glitch on the day of the election.
In his Final Written Address presented to the Tribunal challenging the 2023 presidential results, Peter Obi stated:
According to Dr. Lawrence Bayode, Deputy Director ICT INEC, in his evidence before the Court “the use of technology is as prescribed by INEC pursuant to the Electoral Act 2022, and Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of General Elections 2022. According to PW1:
“Immediately after the election on the 25th of February 2023, polling unit results were uploaded and received by the e-transmission system whilst using the BVAS there was a temporary failure of communication between the e-transmission system and the IReV portal for the Presidential election. In this regard, the e-transmission system returned an HTTP 500 error which is an application error such that the transmitted results though received on the e transmission application hosted on the AWS, the e-transmission could not organize and push the results instantly to the Presidential module on the IReV portal because it could not map the results uploaded for the Presidential election to any State. The AWS CloudTrail logs contain and shows patches deployed to fix the error/technical glitches on the election day.”
However, contrary to the above evidence of alleged temporary failure of communication between the e-transmission system and the IReV Portal, PW7 provided documentary evidence of the Health Status of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Servers, showing that from the health status of the Server, there was no report of any technological glitch on the day of the election.
It is common ground that the 1st Respondent deployed/utilized the AWS servers for the hosting of its e-transmission Portal as well as the IReV Portal. The Report of the AWS Health Status in the Six Regions where AWS Servers are hosted was admitted in evidence as Exh. PCJ 3 A- F and PCJ 4.
PW7 annexed a copy of her profile/resume to her witness statement on oath, which shows that she is employed by Amazon Web Services Maryland, USA as a Cloud Infrastructure Engineer/Architect from February 2022 to present. There was no evidence before the Court from the 2nd and 3rd Respondents debunking and/or challenging the impressive resume of PW7, which she attached to her witness statement on oath… maintained that her employment verification letter has the name of the corporation and Employee Resource center, and that the employee resource center is the department that handles employment verification and that Exhibit PCJ2 is in the nature of employment verification letters given by AWS to its employees.
The PW7’s confirmation of employment apart from indicating that it was issued by the Employee Resource Center, Amazon.com. Inc. also contain a further statement “if you have any questions, please contact us at 888.892.7180”. Neither the 2nd and 3rd Respondents nor anyone whatsoever including their sole witness made any effort to contact Amazon Resource center at the above given number.
In a futile attempt to justify the alleged excuse of technological glitches, RWI alleged the AWS CloudTrail Logs showed the touted technological glitches and the patches deployed to repair same. RWI admitted under cross examination that, a CloudTrail Log will contain the following features namely: “Event time, Event Source, Event name, AWS Region, Source IP Address, I.A.M (Identity Access Management), User Address.”
In her unchallenged evidence before the Court, PW7 also testified that there is a CloudTrail for every API (Application Programming Interface) action within an AWS account. It is submitted that, a cursory examination of Exh RA6 will show that, it does not meet the requirements of a CloudTrail Log. The above itemized features of a CloudTrail Log as admitted by RWI, are non-existent in Exh RA6.
The Respondents case is that “the said technological glitch was repaired following which the result of the first Presidential election was successfully uploaded on IReV on the 25th of February 2023 (the day of the election)”… that “the alleged technical glitch did not in any way affect the result of the election… that upon resolution of http 500 error, the result which were delayed in the e-transmission were eventually organized and pushed to the IReV Portal… results are available as generated in their original from the polling unit using the BVAS… result of the election as uploaded on the IReV are readable and reflect the lawful scores of all the candidates at the election”.
Contrary to the above evidence, the purported result of the election uploaded/transmitted to the IReV, certified copies of which were issued and given by the 1st Respondent to the Petitioner are made up of blurred/unreadable copies and images, as well inaccessible/blank documents. Even RWI himself, when shown certified copies of these blurred/unreadable documents, admitted/conceded that he was unable to decipher the votes as “the copies are blurred.”
These documents though certified by the 1st Respondent where either manifestly blurred or blank documents, and where purported to be the result of the election in respective polling unit… blurred copies of documents certified by the 1st Respondent as purported Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC40G and EC60E, which were given to the Petitioners as certified copies of the original document in possession of the 1st Respondent.
The above blurred copies cannot by any stretch of imagination be described as the authentic version of the actual Form EC8A containing the records of the figures obtained by the Candidates in the respective polling units, yet INEC certified these blurred copies/images as true copies of what is in their possession… further debunk the unfounded claim/evidence of RW1 that, the hard of Form EC8A in the possession of the 1st Respondent were used to collate the result of the election. If such hard copies as claimed by the RW1 exist, and are in the 1st Respondents possession, the million-dollar question, is why were they not certified and given to the Petitioners instead of certifying the blank, blurred, unreadable and irrelevant images, purporting same to be the certified true copies of the result of the election? The Supreme Court held that if an admitted document is incomplete or is edited, the party to be damnified is the one who ought to have produced the proper/correct/the complete document if he failed to produce the said document in it’s corrects from.
The Respondents neither challenged nor joined issues with the Petitioners on the fact that the result of the election uploaded/transmitted on the IReV in 18,088 polling units were blurred, and this was established by the oral evidence of RWI. Prof. Eric Uwadiegwu Ofoedu), produced a spread sheet of the 18,088 polling units with blurred Forms EC8A, and also gave evidence that “from the IReV Portal, 18,088 polling unit results were blurred”, and also, that “from IReV Portal scores, on Form EC8As of 39, 546 polling units were inaccessible/contain uploads not connected to the election.”
It is respectfully conceded, that though the Court is not bound to accept an expert report, the legal position is also that “they would appear not to have any choice than to do so as long as the expert evidence is unchallenged and un-contradicted as has been the situation in this case”.
The 2nd and 3rd Respondents in page 16 of their written address, and submitted inter alia that “an isolated consideration of two States out of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT could not ground an empirical analysis of accuracy of the overall results… It is noteworthy that the witness himself admitted under cross examination that the totality of the said polling units both in Rivers and Benue, where he claimed to have considered, would not amount to 18,088 polling units.”
From the purported result of the election in the Form EC8A, it was claimed that Tinubu won the Presidential election in both Rivers and Benue States, and thereby, adding those two States (Rivers and Benue States) to the number of States in the Federation wherein the 2nd Respondent as the Candidate of the 4th Respondent met the Constitutional requirement as provided in Section 134 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, of having not less than one-quarter of votes cast in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation.
Clearly, by the unchallenged evidence of PW4 as succinctly explained in the Data Analysis of the Benue State scores and Rivers State scores, the Petitioners lawfully won the election in the two States.
By evidence of PW4 which is supported/corroborated by Report of Data Analysis of the Result from February 25th, 2023 Presidential Election for Benue and Rivers State, it is summited that the evidence was neither challenged nor controverted. It is further submitted that from a proper understanding of the actual summation of the scores obtained by the Petitioners and the 4th Respondent in Rivers and Benue States, clearly show that the Petitioners won the election in both States.
The 2nd and 3rd Respondents, despite the opportunity they had to cross examine PW4, and perhaps, challenge him on his expert evidence, failed to utilize that opportunity to challenge him about his expert analysis based on the blurred copies of the purported results of the election in the affected polling units. It is settled law that “where a party fails to cross examine a witness on a particular matter, the implication is that he accepts the truth of that matter as led in evidence… a party who fails to cross examine a witness will not be entitled to invite the court to disbelief the witness on the evidence he gave.”
We need not make any heavy weather to emphasize the point that even in their final written address, the 2nd and 3rd Respondents as well as the 1st Respondent in its evidence before the Honourable court has not challenged nor denied the authenticity of the evidence.
The 2nd and 3rd Respondents only called as their witness in this case, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who testified on 5th July 2023. Apart from his resume which was admitted as Exh. RA26 and other documents showing that the 2nd and yd Respondent we’re qualified to contest the Presidential election, Senator Bamidele as the star witness for the 2nd and yd Respondents, gave no evidence in rebuttal, challenging the expert and other evidence adduced by the Petitioners witnesses.
The porous defence of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents show case contradiction, inconsistency, fiction and unreliability in the evidence of their sole witness, the RW2. The witness who disowns his own document, and who admitted that he has never accessed the IReV, and yet, claimed that he knows its contents.
The duty of Your Lordships, is to put the evidence of the Petitioners’ expert/special witnesses on one side of the imaginary scale, and that of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents sole witness, SW1 (Senator Bamidele) on the other side of the imaginary scale, and then weigh in your judicial minds, whether the Petitioners case of non-compliance with the mandatory requirements of the Electoral Act, Regulations and Guidelines and the Manual for Election Officials has been established.
The Petitioners expert evidence/report of the upload of 18,088 polling unit Forms EC8A, purported to be the result of the election (Form EC8A) in the 18,088 polling units, was neither challenged nor controverted. The blurred copies were not readable nor contain any relevant information including scores of Candidates obtained in the polling unit on the day of the election. RW1 admitted that he could not see/read any figures on the blurred copies of the purported Fonn ECSA shown to him in the open court.
The unchallenged Data Analysis further confirm that, the purported result of the election in the polling unit in Form EC8A in 39,546 polling units were inaccessible on the IReV. In these 39,546 polling units, 23,119,298 registered voters collected their PVCs, whilst 5,532,553 voters were accredited to vote in these polling units. Also, the figure of 23,119,298 and/or 5,532,554 referred to above, are far more than the purported margin of lead in the INEC announced return of the election, for which the election itself ought to be declared as inconclusive, invalid and or null and void.
The self-serving excuse by the 1st Respondent of alleged technological glitch on the day of the election, is not a valid justification for the outright contravention and violation of the Electoral Act, the Regulation and Guidelines, and Manual for Election Officials, all of which prescribe for mandatory upload and transmission of election result in the polling unit, using the BVAS to the IReV, as part of the collation process and to ensure transparent, credible and authentic collation and integrity of the result of the election.
The unchallenged expert evidence of the Petitioners witnesses, including the documentary evidence before the Court, support the Petitioners case, and sufficiently established that, the non-compliance by the 1st Respondent in the circumstances of the instant Petition were not only substantial, but grievously affect the outcome of the Presidential election.
A significant highlight of the expert Data Analysis (Data Report), produced by PW4, is that upon a proper and accurate computation of the result of the election in Rivers and Benue State, using the Forms EC8As uploaded on the IReV, and the certified copies of the Forms EC8As given by the 1st Respondent to the Petitioners, is that the Petitioners won the Presidential election held in Rivers and Benue States.
By this unchallenged development, the number of States wherein the Petitioners won the Presidential election will now be Fourteen States and the PCT, whilst the 2nd to 4th Respondents will thereby, have their number of States allegedly announced for them by the 1st Respondent reduced by two States.
Your Lordships are respectfully urged, to uphold the above submissions and determine that, the non-compliance by the 1st Respondent in the conduct of the Presidential election held on the 25th day of February 2023, substantially affected the result of the Presidential election… in the interest of justice, declare the purported return of Tinubu as the winners of the Presidential election invalid and accordingly nullify the Presidential election held on the 25th day of February 2023.