The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says some politicians are allegedly trying to gain access to the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) hardware in an attempt to clone it.
The Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, addressed concerns over the possibility of over-voting and compromise of BVAS.
Okoye’s comments come after the recent Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal judgement which nullified the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke on the grounds of over-voting.
BVAS was deployed in the July 16, 2022 poll.
“Some of these fears are not valid. People are just throwing in issues into the fray to make sure that we disclose to them the complete and entire functionality of the BVAS,” he said.
“There are some politicians who want us to open the brain of the BVAS [machine] so they can see inside the BVAS [machine], to see how it functions and for them to also see whether there’s a possibility for them to clone it or manipulate it and the commission will not do that.
“Democracy can only be protected by a vigilant people and the law has given the political parties the power and the right to deploy their polling agents to all the polling units in Nigeria and to all the collation centres.”
Okoye noted that stakeholders are granted access to monitor the entire electoral process to ensure that nobody puts any foreign material into the ballot boxes on election day that will cause over-voting.
“Our BVAS is a very robust gadget – a very robust instrument, and we have faith in it. We believe it is the ultimate arbiter in terms of those who want to manipulate the process.
“I think that Nigerians should have faith in the BVAS. It is robust and will be a game-changer in the 2023 general elections,” the INEC official said.