The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the Independent National Electoral Commission delayed the uploading of election results to its portal on February 25, due to suspected cyber attacks.
Mohammed refuted allegations of fraud by the opposition parties, teeming it a result of ignorance of how the process works.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the minister made this statement while speaking with the Voice of America, Associated Press and Foreign Policy Magazine in Washington DC on Monday.
According to him, the electoral body “withheld” the upload “to preserve the integrity of the data”.
He said, “Under our laws today, management of election results is manual and the court has ruled that INEC has the exclusive right to determine the mode of election, its collation and transmission.
“What happened on the 25th of February was that INEC observed that the results of the presidential elections were not being viewed. INEC, suspecting a cyber attack, withheld the uploading of the results to preserve the integrity of the data.
“It immediately proceeded to float an alternative platform while asking its technicians to investigate what happened to its original portal.”
The minister also took the time to state that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has delivered on his pledge to leave behind a legacy of free, fair and credible elections.
Recall that, the president, in his speech at the United Nations general assembly (UNGA77) in September 2022, promised to stay committed to the “sanctity of constitutional term limits” by leaving “a process of credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice”.
Mohammed said in fulfilment of this promise, the president ensured nobody used security agencies to rig the elections, rather, he created a level-playing ground for the elections to take place.
“Proof of this resolution is that the president’s party lost the presidential election in Katsina, his home state. Equally, the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, lost in his state, Lagos, while the chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, lost in Nasarawa state to the Labour Party.
“The director-general of the campaign organisation of our party also lost to PDP in Plateau state. Nothing gives this election more credence than those facts because there was no rigging in states where our bigwigs come from,” the minister added.