Hitler Nwala, a witness for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, claims all 110 of the BVAS machines he examined had their results erased.
Nwala, a witness who had been subpoenaed, made the claim on Thursday in Abuja while testifying as an expert witness for the petitioners in their lawsuit contesting the results of the presidential election on February 25.
The witness who was led in evidence by the petitioner’s lead counsel, Mr Chris Uche, SAN, said that the machines inspected were only those from the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).
He also told the court that he was a Digital Forensic Analyst and that he didn’t know at what point the results were deleted on machines.
The witness stated during cross-examination by Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that he fitted a conventional gadget used for such an activity to the machine to reach the conclusion.
Mahmoud further asked the witness if he was aware that inspecting only 110 machines out of 3,163 that were deployed in the FCT amounted to only 3.4 per cent of the total number of BVAS deployed in the FCT and 0.06 per cent of BVAS deployed nationwide.
To this, the witness told the court that he only compiled the report and didn’t take out time to calculate the percentages.
When asked if he had the authority of the commission to attach an external device to the BVAS machine, the witness answered in the affirmative.
The INEC counsel attempted to give a BVAS machine to the witness to check if it was deleted as he had said in his report.
The witness, however, said that it would be against the ethics of his profession to collect the BVAS machine in open court to check it.
“It is professionally wrong to access a device that will be used as evidence in a court of competent jurisdiction because it will temper with the evidence.