BREAKING: Court To Rule On Peter Obi, INEC’s Case On BVAS Reconfiguration, As Labour Party Makes Move To Conduct Physical Inspection
By Edith Elekute
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, requested permission to modify the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, it used for the recently concluded presidential election. The Abuja-based Court of Appeal has scheduled a hearing on the application’s merit for Wednesday.
The Labour Party, LP, and Mr. Peter Obi, its candidate, submitted a new application to be permitted to physically inspect all the BVAS that were used for the presidential election on the same day a three-member panel of the appellate court adjourned to rule on the application.
Obi and LP claimed that the purpose of the application was to allow them to extract data from the BVAS that “reflect the actual results from Polling Units,” through the assistance of their legal team, which was supervised by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN.
They both applied for the Certified True Copy, or CTC, of every piece of information in the BVAS.
“My lords, the purpose of this is to protect the evidence before INEC reconfigures the BVAS. This is so that the case’s substance won’t be affected if they are eliminated, Ikpeazu, SAN, noted.
However, INEC urged the court to reject the application through a team of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, led by Mr. Tanimu Inuwa.
Obi and LP’s plea would have an impact on INEC’s ability to prepare for the upcoming governorship and national assembly elections, INEC insisted.
It informed the court that over 176 000 BVAS were stationed at voting places during the presidential election.
“We must set up each BVAS machine specifically for the next elections at each polling place.
“Reconfiguring the 176, 000 BVAS within the time frame will be quite challenging for us.
“We have already declared in our affidavit that we will transfer all of the data in the BVAS to our backend server, ensuring that no information in the BVAS will be lost.
“The BVAS must be set up. Thus, allowing this application would slow down the process and perhaps cause the polls to be delayed, said INEC’s attorney, Inuwa, SAN.
The panel, under the direction of Justice Joseph Ikyegh, postponed making a decision until Wednesday after hearing from the parties.