The National Elections Commission (NEC), through its director of communications, Mr. S. Henry Flomo has sharply reacted to an email said to have come from one of its staffers, regarding the voter roll which is aimed at bringing NEC into public disrepute.
Addressing the media at an unusual and impromptu press conference yesterday, Mr. Flomo said the alleged email was illegally generated and has been circulated to harm the reputation and credibility of the electoral process.
“The Commission clarifies that the alleged email was never written nor circulated by the Chairman of the Commission, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya and the contents therein are false and only designed to cause confusion in the country,” he said. The alleged email, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, has ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as its source while the recipient is Jerome Korkoya (email@example.com).
It is said to have been sent to Korkoya on Wednesday, July 28, 2017, at 9:19 p.m., with the subject, “Unknown Database Changes”.
The alleged email reads:
“Good morning, chairman, I hope all is well with you. Last night while backing up the system database and folders, I noticed that there are changes and additions being made to the parent folder of the final voter roster. The most significant changes of concern to me is the creation of new voters file with same exact name as the previous, and the addition of numbers that were not included on the listing we all signed on a few weeks ago.
“Most interestingly, the new folder being created mimics some of the same information in the initial parent folder listing. Going through the new folder, the names, ages, location, sex and location of voters have changed. Furthermore, the pictures of voters on the new listing do not match what is on the compiled final file of those that registered to vote. I am looking through this more and will provide you with additional information.”
A subsequent email, which was later alleged to have come from Cllr. Korkoya, was dated Thursday, November 9, 2017, at 9:33 a.m. and addressed to all members of the Board of Commissioners. The alleged email concluded and admonished all of its recipients not to speak to the media or anyone concerning fingerprint inaccuracy.
“I have not seen this from any of the complainants as part of their evidence and we need to make no mention of that. We will discuss this in our emergency meeting later today,” it read.
Flomo said the email is false because the senders used firstname.lastname@example.org which does not exist on the Commission’s server.
“For all official mails, internal and external, the NEC uses the first letter of first names and then the last names plus the domain address. Therefore, the sender is fake,” he stated.
He added that the voter roll database is strictly controlled by the NEC Data Center and not the IT section at the NEC.
“The IT section does not control infrastructure, is not able to comment on database changes as mentioned in the concocted email and the NEC uses Microsoft Outlook for all official mails, internal and external,” he explained.
He pointed out that the NEC does not have fingerprint folders as mentioned by the alleged fake emails and that all documents are saved in the Commission’s database and not in folders.
“The fake email from Chairman Korkoya to fellow commissioners, regarding the subject, does not exist on our mail server. It is not just strange but fake and in fact, the Chairman in particular normally uses his AOL account for email purposes,” he said.
Flomo noted that the Commission is urging all citizens, mainly voters and partners to remain calm and await the opinion of the Supreme Court and that the Commission remains transparent and credible. The head of the IT section at the NEC, Mr. James Dogbey also noted that his department knows nothing about that email and it has been verified as a fake email from an unidentified source with the intent to damage the good reputation of the Commission.
Meanwhile, Rodney Sieh, publisher of Frontpage Africa, who received the purported email and published it on his newspaper’s website said he called on the NEC to give a quick response, but the Commission said it could give a response only through a press conference as it did yesterday. Responding on the Bumper Show yesterday as to how he got the alleged email and whether it is authentic, Sieh said he received it from an insider from the NEC and whether it is true or not lies in the hands of the Commission to clarify.
With a few more days to the ruling of the Supreme Court in the LP, UP vs NEC’s ongoing October 10 representative and presidential elections alleged irregularities and fraud case, the alleged email appears to be generating more tension and bringing the electoral body under further scrutiny.