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INEC challenges Atiku, Obi’s suit on BVAS

The Independent National Electoral Commission has requested that the Presidential Election Petition Court modify the orders that were issued to the People’s Democratic Party and Labour Party candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, respectively, to inspect election-related materials.

In a notice filed on March 4, INEC requested that the court modify the order prohibiting it from altering election-related materials.

For the upcoming election, the commission stated that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System needed to be rearranged.

On March 3, the appellate court granted Atiku and Obi permission to examine election materials used by INEC in the February 25 presidential election.

Following two separate ex parte applications from Atiku and Obi, who finished second and third, respectively, in the APC’s Asiwaju Bola Tinubu-led presidential campaign, the panel of the appellate court granted the permission.

In the application that the commission sent to the court and that NAN saw, the commission asks the court to change the order so that it can reorganize its 176,846 BVAS in time for the governorship and state houses of assembly elections on March 11.

According to NAN, it is the sole request made in the electoral umpire’s application to the court.

However, no date has been set for the application’s hearing.

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A source claims that INEC must reconfigure the BVAS used for the February 25 elections and deploy them to polling units for the March 11 elections in light of the required number of BVAS across the states.

According to the source, the commission’s technical team needed to arrive on time in order to begin the individual device reconfiguration.

The official added that the order was important because failing to comply with it could delay the governorship and state houses of assembly elections on Saturday.

BVAS machines According to a reliable source, the application was required in response to the order prohibiting INEC from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until the necessary inspection was carried out and Certified True Copies of them were issued. The source also noted that the commission would require sufficient time to reconfigure the BVAS required to conduct the polls.

Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Voter Education and Publicity, did not respond to several phone calls or a text message regarding the issue. As a result, he was unable to be reached for a response on Monday.

In the meantime, the PDP claimed that the electoral commission had not yet complied with the Court of Appeal’s decision allowing its presidential candidate to inspect election materials.

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On Monday, a party member of the National Working Committee disclosed this to The PUNCH.

The member of the NWC said, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the party chieftains’ protest on Monday was partly caused by the commission’s refusal to follow the appellate court’s direction.

“The legal team of the PDP has not begun the process of inspecting the election-related documents because INEC has not granted the team access to the materials, not because the team is not ready.

It is premature to assert that they have a hidden agenda, but they cannot deny us our right. They cannot halt the PDP; they can only delay the process.

He stated, “There is a provision of the law that will compel them to obey the pronouncement of the court” if they do not grant us access to the documents within the next few days.

When contacted, Dele Momodu, Director of Strategic Communications for the PDP Campaign Council’s National Election Management Committee, stated, “Don’t you think INEC has abused that ruling?” There is nothing we can do in the interim in the event that they have appealed the decision.

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In the meantime, the PDP has approved INEC’s request for permission to reconfigure the BVAS.

Ibrahim Abdullahi, the PDP’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, referred to the occurrence as “A second litmus test of the INEC’s commitment to credible polls.”

But on Monday night, the All Progressives Congress asked INEC to explain to Nigerians why it was necessary to reconfigure the BVAS in advance of Saturday’s election.

Festus Keyamo, the Chief Spokesman for the APC presidential campaign council, disclosed in an interview that despite INEC’s authority to conduct elections in Nigeria, it still owed Nigerians an explanation as to why the technological device should be reconfigured.

“INEC has the statutory powers to do whatever it is that they are doing,” he stated. And if they have to work within those powers to ensure free and fair elections, they shouldn’t have a problem so long as they tell the parties what they are doing to avoid raising suspicions.

“I also don’t understand why those systems need to be changed. Because this is about technology, I believe INEC must clearly demonstrate to the general public why it is necessary to carry out that psychological action.

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