Court fixes Wednesday to rule on INEC’s request to tamper with BVAS ahead of governorship elections

The Appeal Court will deliver a ruling on the application by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking leave to configure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the governorship election on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

INEC, in its motion dated March 4, asked the appellate court to vary the ex parte order made in favour of the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regarding the inspection of materials used for the presidential election.

The appellate court had, on March 3, granted leave to Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party to inspect election materials used by INEC to conduct the February 25 presidential election.

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

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.

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Counsel to INEC, Tanimu Inuwa, SAN, said the application became necessary following an order restraining it from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until the due inspection was conducted and certified.

He added that the commission would require sufficient time to reconfigure the BVAS needed to conduct the election that would take place on Saturday.

He told the court that INEC would “upload from the back-end”.

In his argument, counsel for Mr Obi, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, prayed the court not to grant INEC’s application for granting it would mean losing the original information there.

”All we are seeking is a physical inspection of the BVAS so that the evidence is obtained before it will be configured,” he told the court.

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He, therefore, opposed the INEC’s application and urged the court not to grant it.

The three-member panel of the appellate court, after listening to their submissions, adjourned until Wednesday for a ruling.

(NAN)

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