Obi lost legal battle to stop lNEC from reconfiguring BVAS

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday granted the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, prayer to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, that was used in February 25, 2023 Presidential election to enable it use same for March 11, 2023 Governorship and State Assembly elections.

A three man panel of justices of the appellate Court headed by Justice Joseph Ikyegh unanimously granted the electoral body request .The Court said that the respondent Peter Obi and Labour Party did not challenge INEC affidavit that the result of the presidential election would be tempered with if it offload the polling units results into the back end server or cloud.

INEC had also in the said affidavit averred that it is an offence to release the ballot papers and voter finger prints contained in the BVAS arguing that a forensic analysis would expose the voters and breach their rights and law.

However, the Court of Appeal refused INEC other prayers to vary its order of March 3, 2023 that granted access to Peter Obi of Labour Party , LP, and Atiku Abubakar of People Democratic Party, PDP, to carried out Digital Forensic Inspection of other ” election materials that were used in the conduct of the Feb. 25, 2023 Election for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,”

It said that INEC did not met the condition precedent for variation of the court order. Besides , the court of Appeal said that INEC prayer for variation of its order of March was not specific but anchored on Electoral Act 2022.

Secondly, that the order made on March 3, 2023 was clear and that the court did not grant access to INEC Data Base.”We did not authorize the applicant access to Data Base”.

Four other applications filed by Ahmed Bola Tinubu and All Progressive Congress APC, against INEC ,Peter Obi , Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar and People Democratic Party, PDP, asking ofor leave to bring their applications and access to INEC election materials were equally granted by the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, INEC on Wednesday withdrew it’s application against Atiku Abubakar and People Democratic Party PDP . The electoral body withdrew the application following the Court refusal to vary the order of March 3,2023.

The panel had on Tuesday heard the seven separate applications brought by the interested parties and had reserved ruling till yesterday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC was represented by Tanimu Innuwa SAN, while Dr Onyeachi Ipeazu SAN, represented Peter Obi and Labour Party, LP,
While Emeka Etiba SAN, represented Atiku Abubakar and People Democratic Party,PDP, Akintola Makinde represented Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Omoshoya Popoola represented All Progressives Congress APC.