Ms Ijeoma Osamor, a broadcast journalist with DAAR Communications Plc, testified on Friday at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
Osamor, who anchors the programme “Democracy Today” on Africa Independent Television (AIT) was subpoenaed as the 7th witness (PW 7) for Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
Obi and LP are petitioners in the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 challenging the election that brought President Bola Tinubu into power.
Respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Osamor, while being cross-examined by APC counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, avowed that INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the results of the Feb. 25 presidential election would be transmitted live.
One of the grounds raised by the petitioners in support of their prayers to invalidate the return of Bola Tinubu as President was that Yakubu reneged on his promise to upload the results sent to the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time.
The video evidence tendered before the PEPC by the petitioners bordered on clips showing the INEC chairman at different times assuring Nigerians of the use of technology in the presidential election.
The court again admitted in evidence another flash drive and played out of it in the open court a clip of Mahmoud delivering a speech emphasising the deployment of BVAS and IReV for the elections.
When asked by Owonikoko if she was aware that a few days before the election, Yakubu, in a press statement, said the results would no longer be uploaded in real-time, Osamor said her news organisation is focused on live coverage of events and programmes.
Owonikoko cited a publication by The Tribune on Feb. 23 that election results would no longer be transmitted in real-time, but Osamor said the publication by The Tribune could have been based on an interview granted to the reporter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that The Tribune on Feb. 23 published a story with the headline “We Won’t Transmit Raw Figures of Election Results, INEC Chairman.”
According to The Tribune, Yakubu said that at a meeting with the leaders of the international election observers who visited him at the commission.
Osamor, however, insisted that while covering the beat, she was present during the said period at all press briefings and at the collation centre, particularly on the said day.
She said that Yakubu did not make such a statement.
Meanwhile, the five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned until Monday for the cross-examination of the witness and further hearing of the petition.