How the BVAS machine removed a sitting governor

It is no longer news that the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal has delivered its Judgment declaring Governor Oyetola as the winner of the Osun State gubernatorial election. Senator Ademola Adeleke has vowed to appeal the judgment. I guess congratulations will be too early for any of the contending parties because the case might eventually get to the Supreme Court. The emergence of the new Sheriff in town, the Bimodal Voting and Accreditation System (BVAS) is revolutionizing our electoral system. The BVAS and how it works need to be explained to the ordinary Nigerians, considering how it played out in the Osun State election. Prof Misbau Alamu Lateef, a professor of Law simplified the functionality of the BVAS in his brief piece below. According to the erudite Professor,

1) The BVAS is truly a game changer and should ordinarily be above manipulation.

2) The BVAS ascertains or validates voters’ identity, and it is mandatory prior to voting. Every voter must be BVASed before they are issued with a ballot to vote. In short, BVAS accredits voters.

3) After elections, the results are then collated and entered manually on INEC form EC8As. However, the number of voters on INEC Form EC8A must never exceed the number of accredited voters on BVAS. That’s over-voting and automatic cancellation under the EA 2022.

4) When a winner was declared by INEC in Osun elections, it was assumed by all that the BVAS and Form EC8As tallied.

5) APC applied for the BVAS report and Form EC8AS to file their petition days after the winner was declared.

6) APC, in preparing their petition, found discrepancies between BVAS report and FORM EC8As in over 700 polling units. The votes recorded on Form EC8As literally exceeded what the BVAS accredited. There was over-voting by people who must have literally bypassed the BVAS either for not having PVCs or other dubious reasons.

7) Once INEC, PDP, and the Governor were served with the APC petition, they all filed their responses and INEC added/pleaded another entirely different BVAS report, which INEC now called a ”SYNCHRONISED BVAS Report.”

7) So, there were two BVAS reports before the Tribunal. The one issued to APC before they filled their petition and the one issued by INEC during the pendency of the petition. Actually, there were three BVAS report. A third was produced by the order of the Tribunal.

8) At the Tribunal, each party strove hard to prove which BVAS was credible and which was not. The Tribunal then had to decide that….

Methinks, that the conflicting BVAS reports from the BIVAS device itself and the back-end server have thrown up the issue of whether the BVAS device is free from human manipulation. However, as Nigerians look forward to the general election, INEC must ensure that all the possible challenges confronting the BVAS are addressed to give Nigerians the confidence that the results of the elections will not only be free and fair but also be seen to be credible. INEC should be grateful to Ademola/Oyetola court case for helping to expose the possible manipulations that can occur through manipulation.

It is very important to state that voters must now know that by-passing the BVAS is not helpful. Any over-voting will automatically lead to cancellation of the votes in the polling unit. So, all hands must be on deck to ensure that everyone keeps to the rule guiding the use of the BVAS.



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