Is Atiku still coming? Well, not many supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 election still believe so.
#AtikuIsComing is a campaign launched by some supporters of the Former Vice President, led by Reno Omokri, after his loss at the presidential poll.
Atiku’s supporters had hopes that the legal team of the PDP and its presidential candidate will be able to establish the existence of an “INEC Server” which they claimed housed the results of the 2019 presidential election.
The PDP and Atiku in their 139-page petition to the tribunal stated that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from “state to state computation” showed that Mr. Abubakar polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Mr. Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
Despite insistence by INEC that it didn’t transmit election results electronically to any server, the Atiku camp boasted that it will call experts from Microsoft and IBM as witnesses to confirm the existence of an “INEC Server”.
However, following disjointed performances by several “star witnesses” and “ICT experts” presented by the Atiku legal team to testify at the tribunal, the hopes of the supporters now appear dashed.
The Atiku camp has already presented 60 witnesses, none has been able to establish that results were transmitted electronically to any server belonging to INEC.
Supporters like Omokri who had repeatedly said he has “evidence” on the existence of the INEC SERVER has now changed his tone, claiming “the server has been deleted by INEC.”
Trouble started for the Atiku camp when a witness from Katsina, who is the chairman of the PDP in the state,
Salisu Maijigiri, told the Presidential Election Tribunal, that his party’s presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, defeated President Muhammadu Buhari, in the state.
However, this claim contradicted figures from the alleged results obtained from the “INEC SERVER” presented to the Tribunal by the Atiku legal team.
Another witness presented by the PDP, Joseph Gbenga who claimed to be a Database analyst and designer, also issued a report which conflicted with the claim of the petitioners in their petition.
The witness in his report awarded a margin of victory which the petitioners (Atiku and PDP) never claimed in their petition.
There was also a twist at the presidential election tribunal on July 19, when Osita Chidoka, the former minister of Aviation, invited by the PDP and Atiku as their star witness, admitted that he has never seen the purported server allegedly utilised by INEC to transmit results.
When asked if he witnessed the transmission of the results electronically to the server, the witness, Osita Chidoka said no, but that he got the idea of server from past statements by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmud Yakubu.
Chidoka also said he did not know the address of the server and where it is located, but that a whistle-blower provided information about the existence of the server.
Also, a Kenyan Information and Communications Technology (ICT) expert, David Ayu Nyango Njoga, who was brought in as a star witness, said that he got the results of the last presidential election from a server allegedly operated by the INEC.
Njoga, who is a witness at the presidential election tribunal in Abuja, said that the results were provided by an INEC official who, according to him, acted on condition of anonymity.
The witness added that he later analysed the report through a third party website, www.factdontlieng.com.
Reacting to the development, John Danfulani, an avid supporter of Atiku and the #AtikuIsComing campaign took to his Twitter to express his shocked at “being fooled”.
He wrote, “Still recovering from the rude shock I got after reading the story of the so-called ICT expert from Kenya & the fairy tale of an INEC SERVER. I’ve never been fooled like this. And never again.”
Another supporter, @destydan2012
wrote, “Nothing would make me more happier right now than for Reno Omokri and his accomplices to take the witness stand and tell us all they know. I mean I want to see the embarrassment on their faces just like they embarrassed me in my neighborhood.”