The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that no political party will be allowed to look into the brain of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), IReV or the biometrics of voters.
This was made known by the INEC National Commissioner for Information and Chairman Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye while appearing on a Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics.
Okoye, who admitted that every Nigerian has the constitutional and legal right to protest, however, said that INEC is the regulator of political parties and won’t abdicate its core responsibility to aggrieved political parties.
No political party allowed to check the brain of BVAS
On reports of the plan to occupy INEC and the Labour party threatening to monitor how INEC is uploading and backing up the results in the commission’s portal as well as whether INEC will allow them to look at how that is being done, Okoye said,
- ‘’Well, in terms of issues of protest, the commission is a public trust and as far as the commission is concerned any Nigerian who has any grievance has the constitutional and legal right to come to the commission to protest.
- ‘’The commission would not prevent any individual or group of individuals or any political party or association from coming to protest because the commission is a public trust and is a public institution and so we can’t prevent anybody from coming to protest.
- ‘’On the issue of a political party saying that it wants to come and look at our cloud or look at the IReV or look into the brain of the BVAS, the commission will not allow that to happen. Every political party that deployed polling agents has a copy of the polling unit-level results.
- ‘’So if a political party wants to come into the commission and look at people’s biometrics, we would not allow that to happen. The commission is a regulator of political parties and the political parties cannot just because of some of the challenges that have taken place turn around and want to regulate the commission, the commission will not allow that to happen.’’
170,000 results uploaded to IReV
Okoye revealed that over 170,000 polling units’ results of the February 25 elections have been uploaded to the portal, noting that the reconfiguration of the BVAS would be completed by Tuesday in preparation for the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections.
- He said, “As of the last time, over 170,000 of those results have been uploaded.
- “As you are aware, we are reconfiguring the BVAS for purposes of the governorship and state assembly elections, and any BVAS that was used for the presidential and National Assembly elections that do not push to the accreditation backend, the data relating to the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections will not be reconfigured.
- “In fact, the BVAS will not allow itself to be reconfigured or reset if the entire data is not pushed to the accreditation backend.
- “I’m sure that by Tuesday when we hope to complete the resettling of the BVAS for the purposes of the governorship and state assembly elections, the results in all the places where elections were conducted would have been pushed to the accreditation backend.”
Parties deployed more agents than polling units
Okoye noted that political parties deployed more polling unit agents than the number of officials deployed by the Commission and so they monitored their results per polling unit.
He said that every political party got a copy of the polling unit result sheet that is uploaded into the IReV portal (The Result Viewing Portal)
- He said, “The Electoral Act 2022 makes it clear that every registered political party in conjunction with their candidates have the right to send agents to every polling unit in Nigeria. The PDP as a political party deployed a total of 176,588 polling agents. The Labour Party deployed a total of 134,874 polling agents. The NNPP deployed a total of 176,200 while the APC deployed a total of 176,223.
- “The commission deployed to 176,666 polling units. So, the political parties deployed more agents to the polling units than the number of polling units that opened. What that means is that each political party got a copy of Form EC 8 which is the polling unit result sheet which is result sheet that is uploaded into the IReV portal.”