INEC rejects LP’s request to witness BVAS reconfiguration
Written by Taiwo Adekola on March 10, 2023
The Labour Party knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, saying the electoral umpire deliberately came up with its idea of reconfiguring the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines BVAS after its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, sought to examine the election materials.
This was as the party faulted the commission’s claim of backing up the data retrieved from the BVAS without the presence of independent witnesses and representatives of political parties.
The protest is coming barely 24 hours after INEC rescheduled the planned governorship and states House of Assembly elections earlier slated for March 11 in order to reconfigure the BVAS machines.
The move was made possible after the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja granted the commission’s request to reconfigure the BVAS that were used for the presidential poll.
The court had, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, dismissed objection by the LP and held that preventing the electoral umpire from reconfiguring the BVAS would adversely affect the forthcoming governorship and state Assembly elections.
But the Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, reiterated that it was wrong of INEC to claim that it had backed up the data from the BVAS without any witness.
Tanko further accused the electoral umpire of constantly changing its rule of engagement to cover up some of the anomalies they earlier observed.
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party expressed strong reservations about INEC’s capacity to conduct the upcoming governorship and Houses of Assembly polls in a free, fair, and transparent manner.
Speaking with newsmen, the National Publicity of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said the commission’s conduct in the past two weeks had made most Nigerians to doubt its sincerity.
But reacting, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the data back-up of the BVAS was an internal affair of the commission and not opens to inspection by parties.