Atiku Presents Forensic Expert in Court to Give Evidence, Reveals Tool He Used To Detect ‘Electoral Fraud’ In 110 BVAS Deployed In FCT

Atiku Abubakar

On Thursday, the People’s Democratic party, PDP and its Presidential Candidate, Abubakar Atiku, presented a digital forensic expert, Mr Hitler Nwala, to testify on his reports which showed alleged “crime” associated with some Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines deployed for the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, CT.

Atiku Abubakar

The Forensic Expert is his 26th witness. He tendered seven volumes of forensic reports and an nexus on findings arrived at after allegedly carrying out investigation on the functionality of 110 BVAS and i-rev devices in the federal capital territory through Chris Uche sSAN. This was after adopting his statement on oath which is his evidence in the petition.

According to him, the data he extracted from about 100 BVAS machines deployed in the FCT showed that criminal malpractice took place on the devices and the polling units he analysed, including PUs where the PDP flagbearer Atiku Abubakar won.

BVAS is a technological device that was deployed by INEC for accrediting voters and uploading scanned polling unit results during the 2023 poll.

Under cross-examination by INEC lawyer A.B. Mahmoud, he said the polling unit results contained in the BVAS machine for the FCT was deliberately deleted even though the FCT was not scheduled for governorship election.

But Mahmoud told him that his reports before the PEPC were false because he did not inspect all the BVAS machines deployed in the FCT.

The witness disagreed, saying “when you have a small sample space and you have a deviation, by the time you have a larger sample space, the deviation will be more.”

Mahmoud showed him about 3 BVAS machines to confirm if they were part of those he inspected.

The witness told the court he would not identify the devices shown to him by Mahmoud, explaining that having inspected the BVAS under review several weeks back, he was not in a position to state if they had been tampered with again.

Taking questions from President Bola Tinubu’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun SAN, the witness admitted making typographical errors by giving different figures for some BVAS machines he inspected.

He also agreed with Olanipekun that the BVAS devices he inspected were the primary source of his forensic report.

“All your reports evolve around the 110 BVAS machines you inspected. Am I right?” Olanipekun asked, to which the witness responded in the positive.

The witness was further told that he embarked on his inspection exercise with the mindset that crime was committed at the elections, having tagged it “Crime Type”.

But Nwala replied, “It (the title) is a format of forensic report.”

Olanipekun further told the witness to “Tell my lord whether the crime you detected affected the polling unit where PDP won”.

“Yes,” the witness replied, adding that he is aware that Labour Party won the presidential election in the FCT and that he also included polling unit results won by LP in his report.

Forensic Expert told the court that as of the time of his inspection of the BVAS machines, nothing was intrinsically wrong with the device.

According to him, all the results in the 110 BVAS machines he inspected were deleted but he was able to recover them using a tool called “Celebral Physical Analyser.”

Under cross-examination by APC lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, the witness said he did not bring the tool to court.

He maintained that the polling unit results he mentioned were those on the BVAS machines, not those uploaded to the INEC Results Viewing Portal, IRev.

The witness added that he did not physically inspect the INEC Form EC8A.

After his testimony, he was discharged from the witness box.

PDP’s lawyer, Eyitayo Jegede SAN then tendered Form EC8As for Ogun (20 LGAs), Ondo and Jigawa states as part of the team’s evidence.

The five-man panel of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, admitted them in evidence while adjourning the proceedings to Friday.

The PDP and Labour Party will be closing their cases on Friday.

Atiku Abubakar