Political parties are not permitted to see the backup or reconfiguration of bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) equipment, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, requested a court order prohibiting INEC from tampering with the information encoded in the BVAS machines until a proper inspection was done and certified true copies (CTC) were provided.
Tanimu Inuwa, counsel to the INEC, stated that no data in the BVAS would be lost during the reconfiguration, as all data would be transferred to the backend server of the commission.
The court said that allowing the application would amount to tying INEC’s hands, thus it declined to prevent the commission from altering the BVAS.
In an interview with Punch, Yunusa Tanko, the chief spokesman for the Obi-Datti campaign council, requested that INEC invite parties to observe the backup procedure.
He stated, “If there is to be transparency, INEC must welcome everyone with their technical specialists to see what the commission intends to support with evidence from the original source. Was it completed?
“We did not wish to present that in court as proof. INEC must remember that we have our own results as well. We will categorically reject anything that contradicts this particular outcome and what they supported.
“It is immediately apparent that INEC went to court on purpose to reconfigure the BVAS machines after Obi demanded to review electoral materials. Nobody, including you and I, is aware that the commission is currently capable of proposing anything resembling reconfiguration. This occurred after we ordered that those computers be examined.
“Before entering into an agreement, it is essential to communicate the rules of engagement and to refrain from changing them. Yet INEC is always modifying the rules of engagement to conceal their nefarious dealings. It is regrettable that we must reduce INEC to this particular level.”
In response, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the INEC chairman’s top press secretary, informed TheCable that while parties are permitted to observe the test run of the BVAS, external parties are not permitted to observe its reconfiguration and backup.
“The reconfiguration or data back-processing of the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) equipment is a completely internal matter of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which no outsiders are permitted to observe. Naturally, political parties are permitted to see a test run of the BVAS, and they did so during the fake accreditation exercise we conducted prior to the general election, said Oyekanmi,e.
“But, it’s really odd that the Labour Party would express interest in witnessing such an event. What do they want to see specifically? Would the party also like to observe the design and printing of ballots and result sheets?
“It would be as if students demanded to be present while their teachers determined exam questions.
While the commission values and maintains a very cordial relationship with the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), both parties are aware of the boundaries.