An Information and Communications Technology expert witness, David Njoga, called by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said on Friday, that he needed the permission of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission to decrypt or read some documents he claimed to have been obtained from the commission’s server.
Njoga, who said he came from Kenya to testify in the case, said without the INEC chairman’s permission, he could not access the said server and decrypt the documents obtained from it.
The petitioners are challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the February 23, 2019 poll.
Under cross-examination by respondents’ lawyers, the witness who testified as the petitioners’ 59th witness, had said the results being laid claim to as the authentic results of the last presidential election obtained from INEC server were published on www.factsdontlie.com by an anonymous INEC official.
He said he never knew the said INEC official but was able to use “scientific method” to trace the source of the data on the website to INEC’s server.
Under cross-examination by Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the witness was confronted with some of the documents he claimed to have been downloaded from INEC’s server.
He was specifically shown his Exhibit A3, which was his acclaimed state-by-state list of voters accredited through the use of card readers during the February 23 poll.
Asked to open to Ekiti State and mention the surname, middle name and the first name of a person on the list, the witness said, “If you give me the INEC server key, I will decrypt it.
“This data is encrypted for security purpose.
“I can decrypt it but I am not authorised to decrypt this data.”
Asked by All Progressives Congress’ lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Njoga said it was only the INEC Chairman that could give the authorisation to access the server.
“It is the data owner, the chairman of INEC, that give an authorisation.
“This implies that, professionally, if the owner of the server provides access, I will be able to decrypt, and to confirm the source of the document.”
Asked how he was able to trace the data he analysed in his report when he had yet to gain access to the server, he said, “I am well trained in data sourcing.”
“I use the scientific method,” he said.
He was asked again if using his “scientific method” to source documents from the server “without authorisation, could also be used to tamper with the content of the said server.
He said “yes”.
Asked he said he was engaged to do the job, but was only paid for the logistics of the job.