Geneal NEWS

Court of Appeal to rule on INEC’s application to reconfigure BVAS March 8

The Abuja Court of Appeal is set for Tuesday 8 March to rule on an application by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking to change the court’s order to examine materials used to conduct the February 25 presidential election.

The order to scrutinize election materials was granted to the HDP, HDP and Labor Party, LP, as part of the terms of petitions challenging alleged malpractices in the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.

Judge Joseph Ikegg, who presided over a three-member panel at the Court of Appeal, announced the date for the ruling after attorneys representing the parties to the lawsuit espoused and argued in their briefs for and against the lawsuit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 4 approached the Court of Appeal for an order giving it permission to reconfigure the Bi-Mode Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) used in presidential and parliamentary elections.

The electoral ruling made it clear that the reconfiguration is to enable him to deploy the BVAS for the next governorship and state houses in the House of Representatives elections.

INEC, through its Counsel, Mr. Inuwa Tanimu, SAN, in urging the Court to grant its application, told the Court that the Defendants had nothing to fear because the information that would be erased during the reconfiguration would be stored and kept in its server in the cloud.

Pointing out that time is not on the side of electoral governance, Tanimo pointed out that if the previous order does not change, this may affect the conduct of the March 11 elections for the position of governor.

However, in their opposition to the granting of the Variable Order, Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu and Chief Emeka Etiaba, both senior advocates for Nigeria, representing Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar respectively, argued that if the Order were diversified, vital information required to prove their case would be erased.

According to Ikpeazu, the real number of approved voters can only be obtained from the BVAS, adding that if the BVAS is tampered with in the name of reconfiguration, vital information will be lost.

In addition, the chief attorney argued that the March 11 election could be postponed if the situation warranted.

Accordingly, he urged the court to reject the committee’s request.

Meanwhile, Ikpezu has called on the court to grant his clients permission to conduct a physical/digital forensic examination of presidential election materials as well as order directing the Independent Electoral Commission to issue a transcript of registered voters and polling units results.

He argued that the request was to ensure the preservation of evidence before it was erased, pointing out that the information on the INEC server varies from day to day, adding that this was only proven after obtaining the information from the BVAS. There was no case of excessive voting in last year’s Conservative elections.

It should be noted that the LP candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, protesting the outcome of the presidential election, obtained a court order to examine the materials used in conducting the poll, including the BVAS.

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the All Progressives Congress candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the winner of the presidential election after scoring the highest number of votes in the election.

Tinubu received over eight million votes to emerge victorious, while Atiku came in second with nearly seven million votes and Obi in third place, with just over six million.

Similarly, Tinubu and Atiku won 12 states each, while Obi won 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Unhappy with Tinubu being declared the winner of the presidential election, both Atiku and Obi vowed to vent their grievances at the Presidential Election Court of Appeal, the court burdened with the responsibility of hearing and deciding cases relating to the conduct of the presidency. election.

While they have yet to file their respective petitions, Atiku and Obi have sought in separate motions unilaterally to obtain an order allowing them to examine materials used in the February 25 presidential election.

The point, in their view, is to enable them to gather the necessary evidence to substantiate the allegations of non-compliance and fraud in the survey.

Both Atiku and Obi claim to have received the most votes in the majority of states and should be declared the winner, accusing the Independent Electoral Commission of rigging the process in favor of the ruling APC and its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

After hearing their respective applications last Friday, Judge Ikeg issued an order allowing Atiku and Obi to examine “all electoral materials used in the conduct of the elections for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 25, 2023.”

The court also allowed them to electronically scan and/or make copies of the voter registration and ballot papers used in the presidential election.

In addition, both Atiku and Obi are permitted under the order to “conduct a digital forensic examination of BVAS devices used to conduct the February 25 presidential election.”

Meanwhile, the court also ruled on Wednesday on the APC and Tinubu’s applications, calling on the court to allow them to also conduct a similar examination of electoral materials used in the February 25 presidential election.

Court of Appeal to rule on INEC’s application to reconfigure BVAS March 8

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button