INEC may postpone Governorship, Assembly elections as it prays court to vary order on inspection of BVAS by LP, PDP


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the Court of Appeal to vary the ex parte order made in favour of the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), with regard to the inspection of materials used for the presidential election.

There is a possibility that the governorship and State Assembly election dates could be affected if INEC fails to receive a favourable order from the Court of Appeal.

BRANDPOWER reports that the appellate court had on March 3, granted leave to Atiku Abubakar of the PPD and Mr Peter Obi of  Labour Party to inspect election materials used by INEC to conduct the Feb. 25 presidential election.

The court granted the duo permission following two separate ex parte applications filed by Atiku and Obi, who came second and third respectively in the presidential election won by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the application filed by the commission and sighted by NAN, the commission is asking the court to vary the order to allow it to reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

BRANDPOWER reports that it is the sole prayer in the application of the electoral umpire filed at the court.

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No date has however, been fixed for hearing of the application.

A credible source in the commission had told NAN that the application became necessary following an order restraining it from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until due inspection was conducted and Certified True Copies of them were issued.

Speaking off camera, the source said that the commission would require sufficient time to reconfigure the BVAS needed to conduct the election that would take place in the 36 states of the federation excluding the FCT.

According to the source, considering the number of BVAS required to conduct the election across the states, INEC needs to reconfigure the BVAS used for the Feb. 25 elections and deploy them to polling units for the March 11  elections.

The source said that the technical team of the commission had to be deployed on time to start the reconfiguration of the devices, which had to be done one by one.

The source said the order was pertinent as not getting it could result in a postponement of the Saturday governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

However, some tech experts have expressed concern over the move by INEC for the so-called reconfiguration. BRANDPOWER reports that the experts aver that the BVAS just like any communication device like a cell phone ought to have a Memory Card, chip or cloud storage where all necessary data should be backed up.

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They however advise that INEC should be given the opportunity to present its case before the court for a full assessment of its needs.