2023 Elections: Court Grants INEC Permission To Reconfigure BVAS

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday granted INEC permission to reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, for the Saturday Governorship and State Assemblies Elections.

A three-judge panel of the appellate court, chaired by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, gave the applicant leave to configure the BVAS for the Saturday election.

The panel, however, requested that INEC upload data to a back-end server and provide real Verified copies to respondents.

INEC sought the appellate court on March 4 to change the ex parte order made in favor of the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, over scrutiny of presidential election materials.

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

The court granted the duo permission following two separate ex parte applications filed by Atiku and Obi, who came second and third respectively in the presidential election won by Asiwaju Bola 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.

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 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 back-end.

In his argument, counsel for Obi, Dr 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 for a physical inspection of the BVAS so that the evidence is obtained before it will be configured” he told the court.

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

The three man panel of the appellate court after listening to their submissions adjourned until Wednesday for ruling.