In the ongoing Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, digital forensic expert, Hitler Nwala provided an intriguing testimony.

Nwala claimed that he found proof of data deletion by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to him, the erased data were reportedly from the presidential election held on February 25.

He took the stand as the 25th witness for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

Abubakar is contesting the declaration of Bola Tinubu, from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as the presidential election winner.

The witness testified that the deleted results were from Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, used during the election.

Abubakar and his party believe that the BVAS data would support their claim that the election was unfairly tipped in Tinubu’s favour.

Under questioning by Chris Uche, the lead counsel for the petitioners, Nwala said he had inspected and analyzed 110 BVAS machines used in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to Nwala, the INEC had deleted the machines’ information to reuse them for subsequent state elections.

However, during cross-examination, INEC’s counsel Abubakar Mahmood countered Nwala’s report, arguing that the 110 machines analyzed were not enough to substantiate any wrongdoing by the Commission.

Mahmood noted that over 3,263 BVAS devices were used during the presidential election, making Nwala’s sample size insufficient.

Legal teams for both President Tinubu and the APC called for the court to dismiss Nwala’s report, citing numerous errors.

However, Uche insisted that the evidence provided by Nwala was critical due to the technological nature of the election.

Post Nwala’s testimony, the petitioners presented certified copies of INEC’s Forms EC8A from multiple Local Government Areas in various states.

The court accepted these despite objections from INEC, President Tinubu, and the APC.

The court proceedings will continue, with the petitioners closing their case and the defendants commencing their defence.



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