Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, has claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) delayed the uploading of results to its portal due to suspected cyber attacks during the presidential poll.
The minister said the allegation of fraud being bandied by the opposition is a result of ignorance of how the process works.
Mohammed who spoke with some international media organisations in Washington DC on Monday, said the electoral body “withheld” the upload “to preserve the integrity of the data”.
According to NAN, the minister spoke with the Washington Post, Voice of America, Associated Press and Foreign Policy Magazine.
“Under our laws today, management of election results is manual and the court has ruled that INEC has the exclusive right to determine the mode of election, its collation and transmission,” he said.
“What happened on the 25th of February was that INEC observed that the results of the presidential elections were not being viewed. INEC, suspecting a cyber attack, withheld the uploading of the results to preserve the integrity of the data.
“It immediately proceeded to float an alternative platform while asking its technicians to investigate what happened to its original portal.”
The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari has delivered on his pledge to leave behind a legacy of free, fair and credible elections.
In his speech at the United Nations general assembly (UNGA77) in September 2022, Buhari promised to stay committed to the “sanctity of constitutional term limits” by leaving “a process of credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice”.
Lai said in fulfilment of this promise, the president ensured nobody used security agencies to rig the elections.
The minister said Buhari created a level-playing ground for the elections to take place.
“Proof of this resolution is that the president’s party lost the presidential election in Katsina, his home state. Equally, the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, lost in his state, Lagos, while the chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, lost in Nasarawa state to the Labour Party,” Lai was quoted as saying.
“The director-general of the campaign organisation of our party also lost to PDP in Plateau state. Nothing gives this election more credence than those facts because there was no rigging in states where our bigwigs come from.”