Appeal Court Rules On INEC request to reconfigure BVAS


On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal turned down the request of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), from reconfiguring the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) equipment used for the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.

The Court in Abuja held that granting the request would jeopardize the electoral body in the conduct of the March 11 governorship and state house of assembly elections.

The Court agreed with INEC that the information on accreditation contained in the BVAS devices had been uploaded to its backup server and could be accessed at any time.

The Appellate Court based its agreement with INEC on the fact that none of the allegations in the electoral body's rebuttal affidavit were refuted.

According to the court, allowing Obi and the Labour Party's plea would constrain INEC's ability to oversee the Saturday gubernatorial election.

The Court further ruled that Obi did not challenge INEC's assertions that data on BVAS devices cannot be altered while being uploaded, and as a result, the assertions were accepted as true.

The Appellate Court predicated its agreement with INEC on the ground that all averments in the counter affidavit of the Electoral body were not challenged.

The Court said that granting the request of Obi and the Labour Party would tie down the hand of INEC in the conduct of the Saturday’s gubernatorial election.

The Court further held that the claims of INEC that information on the BVAS devices cannot be tampered with during uploading was not attacked by Obi and as such, deemed authentic.

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