The Independent Electoral Commission may postpone Saturday’s Governorship and State Assembly elections across the country unless the appellate court reverses itself on the relief it granted the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Atiku Abubakar and his Labour Party LP counterpart, Peter Obi, Vanguard reports
Recall that the court had last week stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC from tampering with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS deployed in last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
Obi in his application moved by his team of lawyers, led by Mr Alex Ejesieme, SAN, sought six principal reliefs, while Atiku’s lawyer, Adedamola Faloku, sought seven prayers from the tribunal.
Among the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs included an order granting the applicants permission to do electronic scanning and make photocopies of voter’s registration, and ballot papers used in the conduct of the election for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on the 25th day of February 2023.
The court granted the reliefs and with regards to the BVAS,.
But now, INEC is claiming that it needs the same BVAS for the subnational elections, saying it needs to reconfigure them and make them fit for purpose.
Five days are said to to be required to reconfigure the BVAS, which means INEC has to begin the process of reconfiguration latest by Tuesday.
A source in one of the state offices of the commission, who did not want his name mentioned due to the sensitivity of the issue, told the Vanguard that the commission would be approaching the courts to vacate the order.
He said, There are over 176,000 polling units. The BVAS is polling units specific, which means that you cannot do a mass reconfiguration. The machines have to be reconfigured individually and those take an average of five days.
“If we leave the BVAS as the court has ordered, it simply means that we cannot use them for the state elections. So, we are approaching the court to seek a way out”.