As millions of voters trooped to the polling units yesterday, the man whose company ACT Technologies Limited, Mallam Sani Musa, printed the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) used in the conduct of the elections spent his fourth day in the cell of the Department of State Security headquarters in Abuja.
The man was arrested Tuesday at a private location in nation’s capital. For his unwillingness to disclose the security code of the card reader, Sani, we learnt may not be released soon.
It was gathered that his arrest was sequel to the allegation that he is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that he alone has the code to the smart card reader.
DSS, it was learnt had interrogated him to assist in solving some of the controversies surrounding the Smart Card Reader. The businessman declined to divulge the code.
Musa’s family in Abuja said he was invited by the DSS on Tuesday and had not been seen since then.
Spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation Femi Fani Kayode had at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday alleged that Musa was a card carrying member of the APC and ardent supporter of General Muhammadu Buhari.
Investigation revealed, however, that Musa who hails from Paiko in Niger State is still a card carrying member of PDP.
He expressed his gubernatorial ambition against Engr. Abdulkadir Kure for the party’s ticket in 2003 and later against Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta who died in June, last year for Niger East Senatorial ticket in 2011.
ACT Technologies supplied 40 million Secure Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for INEC. INEC, however issued 68.8m cards for yesterday’s elections.
Heaps of PVCs had been found in some street corners across the country and in Essex, United Kingdom, in the build up to yesterday’s elections.
Also, many people have been arrested for cloning transporting or being in illegal possession of PVCs in various parts of the country including Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Sagamu-Benin expressway, in Ogun State and Bida in Niger State.
Last month, gunmen broke into the INEC office at Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area, Delta State, and made away with 6,000 permanent voters cards (PVCs) and registers.
The DSS, backed by soldiers, first raided ACT Technology’s offices located on Ganges Street in Maitama in February, allegedly searching for illegal producers of fake PVCs.
An official of the company, who pleaded anonymity, told BBC Hausa that: “They tried to get that information from him, but he has refused, because he told them that he had also signed an agreement with the company that produced the card reader in China; that nobody will reveal the secret number. That was the agreement.”
The PVC, INEC, however, said was a fool-proof technology to ensure free and credible voting in the elections.
INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega while reacting to an allegation that the master key of the smart card readers is in the possession of the main opposition party, stated that the card readers had no master key but only a security code.
“The card reader does not have a master key, it only has a security code, and you can only breach the card reader if you have the source code,” he said.
“Although, there have been allegations, but there is no proof indicating that the security code of the card readers has been breached.”
Jega also dismissed speculations that the commission hired a blacklisted company to produce the permanent voter cards, saying: “No company which has been blacklisted works for INEC.”
On Wednesday, the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, called for his arrest, accusing him of being part of the plot to rig the election in favour of APC.
According to Fani-Kayode, “Our concerns stem from the fact that the moving spirit and a major shareholder and board member of the company that supplied the card reader system and machines to INEC is not only a friend of but also an ardent and keen supporter of General Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.
That man’s name is Sani Musa and he is indeed the main force behind the company.
The company’s name is Act Technologies Ltd. and the Chairman of the company is one Engineer SK Danladi.
“How and why INEC would give the contract to supply the card readers to a fanatical APC supporter and to a man whose other company was officially blacklisted by INEC a couple of years ago for sharp practices, needs to be explained. Sani Musa has expressed his undying support for the APC and General Buhari and his hatred and virulent opposition to the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan openly and publicly on his Facebook wall.
Some of his comments on Facebook read as follows: “I stand with him (Buhari) for whatever reason’ and ‘Imagine the kind of people given spaces in our nation’s news tabloids.’
‘Hoodlums are having field day in Nigeria since the inception of GEJ’s administration. Mad men, hooligans and vultures have taken over decency of the society. May Allah save us from the torments of this (sic) rascals and expose their intentions on our nation state be it the Boko Haram, killer militants or by extension those in authority with wicked intentions-Amen,”
APC also issued a news alert saying that Musa had been arrested and was being tortured by the DSS to release the security codes of the PVCs.
DSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar confirmed the arrest of “some persons”, but evasive on the status of Alhaji Sani Musa.
“It is election period and people cannot stop us from doing our job; we are not politicians, we will not be dragged into political issues.”