The National Elections Commission or NEC sharply dismisses a purported leaked email from its IT section that is being circulated in Monrovia as fake.The purported email from the address, email@example.com is erroneously dated Wednesday, July 28, 2017 sent at 9:19 PM when in fact, 28 July 2017 was on Friday, not Wednesday as concocted.
It was purported to have been addressed to the Chairman of the NEC, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya under the topic: “Unknown Database Changes.” The fake email were said to have been allegedly forwarded later on from Chairman Korkoya to several NEC officials warning them not to speak to anyone about a confidential finger print.The purported emails which were generated using a word-pad were sent as PDF files rather than a typed word document.
Addressing a brief press conference at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission on Monday, 4 December the Director for Communication and Public Affairs, Henry Boyd Flomo explains that the email was maliciously generated to impugn the commission’s integrity and support political parties claims of orchestrated fraud, while at the same time clarifying that it does not come from the NEC.
The said email, which was considered as a sensitive internal communication obtained by a local media alert within the hierarchy of the NEC suggests that there may have been suspicious activities associated with the now controversial voter roll that is currently before the Supreme Court as Liberians await the high court’s opinion whether to conduct the runoff presidential election or hold fresh polls.
Author of the purported email writes, “I hope all is well with you. Last night while backing up the system datebase and folders, I noticed that there are changes and addition being made to the present folder of the final voter roster. The most significant changes of concern to me is the creation of a new voters file with the same exact name as the previous, and the addition of numbers that were not included on the listing we all signoff on few weeks ago…”
Mr. Flomo clarifies that the email in question was never written nor circulated by Chairman Jerome George Korkoya and the contents therein are false and only designed to cause confusion in the country.
“In fact, the commission has already asked the Liberia National Police to investigate this matter,” he says at the news conference.“The following counts will prove further the falsity of these fake emails: admin address, voter roll database, Microsoft outlook, fingerprint folders, mail from Chairman Korkoya,” he continues.
According to him, the purported address firstname.lastname@example.org, used by the sender does not exist on the NEC’s server, adding that all official mails, internal and external, NEC uses the first letter of first names and then last names plus the domain address.
“Therefore, the address of the sender is faked. Voter’s roll database is strictly controlled by the NEC database center and not IT department. The IT section does not control infrastructure, thus would not be commenting on database changes as mentioned in the concocted email. NEC does not have fingerprint folders as mentioned by the email. All documents are saved on our database and not in folders,” Flomo clarifies.
He also challenges the veracity of the alleged email from Chairman Korkoya to fellow commissioners, regarding the subject, noting that such “does not exist on our mail server.”
“In fact, the chairman in particular normally uses his AOL account for email purposes. At this point, the commission urges Liberians, mainly voters, to remain credible,” Flomo concludes the conference.
The purported email comes at the time when the NEC a is battling legal a challenge before the Supreme Court from the opposition Liberty Party on the results of the October 10, 2017 Presidential and representative Elections, alleging fraud and irregularities. The high court is expected to give its opinion this week.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne