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Allow Reconfiguration Of BVAS For March 11 Elections- INEC To Court


Allow Reconfiguration Of BVAS For March 11 Elections- INEC To Court

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja, praying it to vary the orders it granted for candidates of the Labour Party, LP, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to be allowed to inspect sensitive materials that were used for the presidential election.

INEC, in its legal process dated March 4, urged the appellate court, which will sit as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, to vary the order to enable it to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, it used for the presidential poll.

The configuration, it informed the court, was required because the BVAS would also be used for the upcoming round of elections, beginning with the governorship and state assembly elections planned for this Saturday as well as other rescheduled elections.

It would be challenging for INEC to carry out the scheduled elections without a prompt modification of the inspection order given to Obi and Atiku, particularly the part prohibiting it from tampering with the formation contained in the BVAS.

Inspection order

You may recall that on Friday, a three-member court panel approved Obi and Atiku’s access to all of the sensitive materials that the INEC used to conduct the February 25 presidential election.

After hearing two separate ex-parte applications that the two disgruntled presidential candidates filed alongside their political parties, the panel presided over by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, issued the orders.

Bola Tinubu, the widely acknowledged winner of the presidential election, and his political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, were named as respondents in the case.

Both applications were predicated on Section146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 47 (1, 2 &3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022, as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

While Obi, in his application marked CA/PEC/02M/23, which was moved by his team of lawyers led by Mr. Alex Ejesieme (SAN), sought six principal reliefs, Atiku’s lawyer, Mr. Adedamola Faloku, sought seven prayers from the tribunal.

Specifically, the applicants persuaded the court to compel INEC to allow them to obtain documents in its custody that were used for the presidential election.

They maintained that the requested documents would aid their petition against the outcome of the presidential contest that was declared in favour of the candidate of the APC, Tinubu.

More so, Obi and Atiku obtained an order from the court granting them leave to file the application, outside or before the pre-hearing session of the planned substantive petitions.


INEC had declared Tinubu of the APC as the winner of the presidential poll, ahead of 17 other candidates that contested the election.

According to INEC, Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku who polled a total of 6,984,520 votes, and Obi of the LP who came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.

Since then, the PDP and LP have both declared that they will sue to overturn the election results.

According to the Electoral Act of 2022, any candidate who is unhappy with the INEC’s return must submit a petition to the tribunal within 21 days of the date the election results were announced.

Within 180 days of receiving the petition, an electoral tribunal must issue a written decision.

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