How 2016 NBA election was rigged with a laptop, witness tells court
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—An Abuja High ABUJA—An Abuja High Court sitting at Apo has adjourned hearing on a suit seeking to sack the President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, till February 15.Justice O. A. Adeniyi deferred hearing on the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2364/2016, filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, after a witness, Mr. Malik Bolakale, narrated before the court, how the 2016 election that produced Mahmoud as President of the NBA, was rigged with “an alien laptop.”Bolakale, who testified as the third witness in the matter, PW-3, told the court that though the election was conducted online, he said the result was announced from a folder that was stored in a laptop.
He said the computer that was used by agents of contenders for various positions in the legal body to monitor the election, which held on 30 and 31 July, 2016, was switched in the early hours of August 1, 2016, when the election result was announced amid protests by observers.Under cross-examination, the witness, who discribed himself as an expert in information technology, further told the court that the election was rigged using two different websites, he said, were used to deceive unsuspecting lawyers that voted through the internet.”My lord, though voting was carried out online, however, the result was not declared in realtime. It was announced about an hour after the election was declared closed,” he added.The witness earlier tendered exhibits 6 and 6A, which were video recordings of what transpired during the election.He gave the two domain names that were used for the election as www.election.NBA-AGC.org and NBA.org.ng.
Asked to explain further, the witness said: “To the best of my knowlegde, I cannot ascertain whether both domains belong to the NBA. My lord, domain names can be registered by anybody.”
“When the result was to be displayed, a particular computer was swapped.”
He said the laptop that was used for the election and vote computation was replaced with another one that was bought from another room.
“The computer that was used from the onset of the election was used to display contents of the election database and was put on the monitor for people to see the name of the voters”.
He said the new laptop contained folders from which applications were launched to display results.
“Elections were conducted for several offices in the NBA using the same method. Results for the offices were displayed at the same time using the same process”.
Asked if he was in contact with the plaintiff while the election process lasted, the witness said as an agent, he was only in touch with the campaign manager of the plaintiff.
He said it was while people were protesting at the end of the election that some people were introduced as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“Some people introduced themselves as representatives of INEC, but no agent was allowed to interact with the said INEC officials.
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