The controversies that trailed three past NBA National Elections conducted through electronic voting may not abate as Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN has petitioned the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) for an audit of the ongoing election. The election ends by midnight today.
In a petition to the Electoral Committee Chairman made available to CITY LAWYER and titled “Complaints Against Fundamental National Election lrregularities and Non-Compliance in the NBA National Election,” the presidential candidate demanded “a forensic audit of the election and the result logs.”
ECNBA Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Akintunde SAN confirmed receipt of the petition. He told CITY LAWYER that “We have the letter,” adding that “We will review it and take appropriate action.”
Dated July 16, 2022 and signed by an ICT expert and his sole Agent in the ECNBA Situation Room, Mr. Andrew Agbo-Madaki, Gadzama outlined several complaints against the election, saying that at yesterday’s ECNBA stakeholders’ briefing, “several agents complained about the last-minute briefing which did not avail ample time for the agents and IT experts of the candidates to test the voting system and portal.”
He noted that while the electoral umpire had earlier promised that access to live results would be made available to voters, “Only agents in the situation room had access to the live results.”
According to the petition, agents requested backend access to review the voting portal “as required under international best practices, this request was rejected.”
Gadzama stated that “lt is also important to state that despite assurances of the ECNBA and the technology provider INITS limited on the suitability of the voting site www.electionbuddy.com, between the hours of 1am to 3am there were repeated error messages while viewing the live results (error: 502 bad gateway): The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 502 Bad Gateway server error response code indicates that the server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, received an invalid response from the upstream Server.”
Alluding that this may have compromised the voting portal, the letter stated that “this makes us question the credibility and efficiency of the portal which promised to handle a 100,000 voter capacity.”
The petition also stated that “Agents and stakeholders were (sic) also requested graphical representation of the results which would show details according to branches. This was not made available during the election period.”
A source at the Gadzama Campaign Directorate told CITY LAWYER that their demand is for an audit that must be conducted before announcement of the election results.
CITY LAWYER gathered that there were occasional outages on the viewing screen at the ECNBA Situation Room which got some agents agitated.
But an ECNBA source told CITY LAWYER that the outages had no impact on the server or the election results, saying: “The idea that 1 LED screen in the NBA annexe somehow controls the balloting is preposterous.
“The system as you may imagine has to do recomputation of displays periodically. I suspect the issue is that whenever the system needs to recompute, the display retreats momentarily while that happens. That is not entirely unpredictable? But, to many of our people, that is ECNBA manufacturing another hike in numbers.”
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