By: Yinka Okeowo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it was not aware that its online database was penetrated by hackers.
INEC’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, stated this on Thursday, while appearing as guest on Channels TV’s flagship programme, Politics Today.
Recall, a civil society group known as Concerned Nigerians, had raised the alarm, claiming that over a reliable source within INEC had informed the group that the e-collation portal of the commission was tampered in a way that would no longer show the location, the time, and the date results from each polling units were fed into the system.
According to the Convener, Deji Adeyanju, the implication of such interference was that anyone who had access to the e-collation platform could input unverifiable figures into the system as genuine election results from obscure locations without trace.
Adeyanju said: “Concerned Nigerians want to use this medium to call the attention of Nigerians and the International Community to fresh attempts by some individuals at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically rig the 2019 General Elections.
“We have been reliable informed by our sources within INEC that the E-Collation portal of the Commission has been tampered with as it no longer shows location, time and date of collation of results.
“The validity of results of the 2019 elections will be tied to the credibility of the E-Collation portal especially the imputing of results real-time from polling Units across the country.
“Therefore, if the E-Collation will not reflect time, date and location where results are entered from; it means the outcome of the elections will not be credible. The implication of this is that, anyone can enter results from any location, at anytime and on any date.”
But, in a reaction, Osaze-Uzzi said INEC would have noticed any penetration of its database, if its online security had been compromised.
He added that though the electoral umpire does not conduct much of its activities online, it still maintained a robust security system.
His words: “I am not aware that our database was hacked by anyone. Certainly, not recently.
“I don’t know where that one (allegation) is coming from. We are the custodians of the database. If it were compromised, we would have known it was hacked.
“But that is not to say there hasn’t been any attempt to penetrate our security. But, I can assure that our security is robust. We take it seriously.
“Don’t forget, there are not too many things we do online yet. We probably would (only) transmit results in real-time.”