The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has slated Wednesday to consider the merit of the application the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, filed to be allowed to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, it used for the just concluded presidential election.
A three-member panel of the appellate court adjourned to rule on the application, on a day the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate, Mr Peter Obi, filed a fresh application to be allowed to conduct a physical inspection of all the BVAS that was used for the presidential poll.
Obi and LP, through their team of lawyers led by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, said the essence of the application was to enable them to extract data embedded in the BVAS, “which represent the actual results from Polling Units”.
They equally applied to obtain the Certified True Copy, CTC, of all the data in the BVAS.
“My lords, this is to ensure that the evidence is preserved before the BVAS are reconfigured by INEC. This is because if they are wiped out, it will affect the substance of the case”, Ikpeazu, SAN, added.
However, INEC, through its team of lawyers comprising of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, led by Mr Tanimu Inuwa, urged the court to refuse the application.
INEC insisted that granting the request by Obi and LP would affect its preparations for the impending Governorship and National Assembly elections.
It told the court that there are about 176, 000 BVAS that were deployed to polling units during the presidential election.
“Each polling unit has its own particular BVAS machine which we need to configure for the forthcoming elections.
“It will be very difficult for us, within the period, to reconfigure the 176, 000 BVAS.
“We have already stated in our affidavit that no information in the BVAS will be lost as we will transfer all the data in the BVAS to our backend server
“We need the BVAS configured. So, granting this application will be a clog in the process and may delay the conduct of the elections”, INEC’s lawyer, Inuwa, SAN, pleaded.
After it had listened to the parties, Justice Joseph Ikyegh led the panel adjourned ruling on the matter till Wednesday.