Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Former Senator representing Ekiti North senatorial district, Mr. Ayo Arise, has volunteered to stand as defence witness in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential standard bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the re- election of President Muhammadu Buhari .
Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, Arise dismissed Atiku’s claim that he actually won the March 23 presidential election based on the certain fact he (Atiku) obtained from the server of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
Arise, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) described Atiku’s claim as not only bogus but also not verifiable. Specifically, the former Senator said “It is a ploy to confuse the judiciary in particular and Nigerians at large”
The ex- legislator, who represented Ekiti North senatorial district between 2007-2011, however, counselled the ruling APC to handle the matter with tact by adopting a scientific approach in puncturing the claim.
He explained that this can only be achieved if the APC sought the services of credible Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts as defense witnesses.
According to him, “Politicians are incurable optimists. And every politician who stands for election believes he or she would win, not minding the realities on the ground. For me, I think the first thing that the public needs to know is how the INEC operates.
“Mostly importantly, the chains of collation of the results from the units through the wards, local governments, states and to the headquarters .Unless Atiku is telling us that there is another method employed by INEC which violates the norm we are used to.”
“Or, maybe there is somebody, somewhere, who is concocting another figures for Atiku .The PDP standard bearer should also tell us how he got his information .Whether he officially applies for it ,through the instrumentality of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). I think the man must have been ripped off or scammed “Arise alleged.
“For now, it is illegal for anyone to transmit the results of the elections from the units directly to the centre. Although, we are progressing gradually, maybe that would happen in the future elections”
“Again , INEC, APC and the President must look for people with sound knowledge in ICT to tell the world what is possible and what is not .And I am ready to offer myself for free service as a defense witness against Atiku at the tribunal if the party consults me,” he promised .