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No going back on use of BVAS for 2023 elections -INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is committed to the deployment of the bimodal voter registration system (BVAS) ...

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is committed to the deployment of the bimodal voter registration system (BVAS) for the 2023 elections.

 

Festus Okoye, INEC commissioner for information and voter education, spoke on Thursday, during an interview with Channels Television.

 

BVAS is a device introduced by INEC which allows for accreditation of voters through biometrics capturing, uploading of polling results and other functions.

 

Stakeholders have described BVAS as an upgrade of the smartcard reader, which was used in the 2019 elections, and a game changer in the country’s electoral process.

 

Recently, some reports emerged on social media claiming that a lawsuit has been instituted before the federal high court in Owerri, Imo state, seeking to stop INEC from using BVAS for the 2023 elections.

 

Reacting to the development, Okoye said the use of BVAS for elections in the country is stipulated in the Electoral Act of 2022.

 

The INEC spokesperson said the commission is not scared of any legal action which may seek to challenge the legality of the use of BVAS.

 

He added that Nigerians have accepted the use of BVAS and that the commission will not relent on its commitment to improve the electoral process via technology.

 

“The BVAS is domiciled within the confines of the Electoral Act of 2022 and we do not have any fear whatsoever in relations to the validity and legality of the BVAS and other technological and electronic devices we are using for elections,” Okoye said.

 

“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has given INEC the exclusive right, power and mandate to organise, undertake and supervise elections that are captured within the confines of the constitution.

 

“We are accountable to the people of this country and the people have accepted the BVAS as a game changer in our electoral process.

 

 “We cannot, under any circumstances, go back in the use of BVAS for the purpose of voter accreditation and we can’t also go back on the issue of transmitting polling unit level results into our INEC result viewing portal.

 

“These two mechanisms and protocols are sacrosanct and the commission is committed to using them during the 2023 general election.” 

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